Night of the Party: London scenes

London in Night of the Party is a bit of a mash up of what’s real and what’s imagined; so when Zara stares downriver from the footbridge over the Thames she’s seeing more half finished sky-scrapers than actually exist here and now. But Hampstead Heath in the book and in life are pretty much exactly the same. Here are some pictures of where Ash and Zara run together: the woods, the cafe, the bandstand and the mound of dark trees where he first tells her about Sophie.

 

 

Night of the Party – Lulu

One of the main characters of Night of the Party is Lulu the dog. All the other characters are out of my imagination, but Lulu is taken from life; she is my friend’s dog.

I was looking after her one day at a very early stage of developing the characters and story of the novel, and as I walked her round the block I suddenly thought, ‘Oh. This is what Ash does. He walks his dead sister’s dog.’

It was a transformative moment for the book. Lulu’s presence brought many scenes to life.  She became somehow symbolic of Sophie and her memory: when Ash thinks all that life he is thinking equally of Lulu and of Sophie.

And as I worked and reworked the story, Lulu ended up having a major impact on how the latter stages of the plot unfolded. If it wasn’t for her, Ash reflects at one point, none of this would be happening. 

Here she is.

P1050398

NIGHT OF THE PARTY – preview

With a week to go until the publication of NIGHT OF THE PARTY, here’s a sneaky preview of the opening pages.

ASH

Hey Soph,
It’s 12 December. Almost the end of term. I should be in school but Miss D’s off sick so Philosophy was cancelled and the others were arsing around Blu-tacking balloons and tinsel to the common-room ceiling. I couldn’t be bothered. Checked out, went for a walk, ended up at the South Bank. Wrote an essay. Did some maths. Do you know it’s possible to prove that infinity minus infinity equals pi?
Had my interview this week. Uni starts in 292 days. Just over 25 million seconds. If I get an offer. If I get the grades.
The Xmas market’s up. Remember? All those overpriced stalls along the river? You used to love it.
I should go.
A.

He deletes the letter, empties the recycle bin, packs his laptop away, swallows the last mouthful of cold coffee. The cup’s left intersecting rings of moisture on the table, a Venn diagram of empty sets. He wipes it clean with his hand, finds a philosophy lecture on his phone, jams his headphones in and heads outside.
It’s nearly dark; the huge, projected images on the buildings across the river are already on: the right-angles of the English cross alternating with the curled flames of the Party torch. The images flicker, break up, go off, and come on again.
The voice in his ears asks if it’s possible to prove that anything exists outside his mind.
It bloody better.
Everything that’s happened in the last sixteen months (approximately 41,500,000 seconds)? He doesn’t want to have invented all that; doesn’t want to be stuck in the kind of mind that could invent it. Continue reading “NIGHT OF THE PARTY – preview”