Tag Archives: Impersonation

Reinventing the self

As far as I can tell, drawing up lists of New Year’s resolutions is a stab at reinvention. I sometimes do one, sometimes don’t. 2011 was one of the “do” years. The other day, I revisited said list which after a long search I eventually found scrawled in the back of a notebook, fully expecting to find a whole host of things I had failed to do. Not so. For once, the opposite was the case. Motivated by that little triumph, I have made a new list for 2012. I have already forgotten where, but I know that it contained an entry that would have me turn away from the 1980s rural northern England upbringing that keeps me to myself, and makes the kind of exposition involved in activities such as writing a blog, a personal challenge. I don’t imagine I will be posting clips of myself singing and dancing anytime soon, but I will get the ball rolling with a trailer, yes a trailer, for my novel Impersonation. It was put together by John Lynch Digital Publishing House, although the wobbly camera work can only be blamed on yours truly! Click here to see it for yourself.

PS. Off to Würzburg today for Molly Eyre premiere…

Leaving home

I had a dream last night in which I, a person of zero acting talents, had been given a role in a Noel Coward play. It only occurred to me, however, when I arrived at the theatre for the opening night (with a baby in tow no less), that I hadn’t so much as looked at my lines. I’m sure there are several ways in which that little nightmare could be interpreted, but I choose to believe it is closely related to the publication of Impersonation.

Ruth reads a physical description of herself in a book

I feel as if I have let my protagonist, Ruth, leave the safe place in which she has been living since I thought her up, and venture out into the wider world. And I know she does not easily feel comfortable there.

But I can’t stop her. She has gone, and  is now standing on the sprawling literary stage that is Amazon. All I can do now is wait and see how she performs. To find out for yourself, check out the first chapter here.


Publication day

Yep, that’s right, today is publication day. Ruth Morton has stepped out into the world via the pages of Impersonation. But what awaits her?

“I caught a glimpse of myself today…I saw my description in the pages of a book, in the words of a man I have never met.”

When Ruth receives a new novel from her book club, she is immediately intrigued. ‘The Ruthlessness of One Man’ claims to be about a real-life London commuter and, as Ruth delves further into the dark tale, she makes a sinister discovery.

She is that commuter.

As Ruth reads on and becomes convinced that the author, Mr Walden, intends her to be more than just his muse, she must unravel the story to uncover just what he has in store for her, both on paper and in reality. Ultimately, she only has the book itself to piece together Mr Walden’s identity and motive. But can she do it in time to stop herself from becoming the victim of a twisted literary plot?

Impersonation is available in Amazon’s Kindle store, and as a paperback later this month.



I have often thought that if I didn’t live in Berlin, I might live in Scarborough – atop a cliff with sweeping views of the sea (of course). From there I would wander down to the beach, where the waves would lap at my feet as I followed the tide line towards the harbour, where I may, if the mood so took me, buy some crab or fish and chips. Or I might climb the steps that wend their way through the gardens to the streets of old buildings housing quirky little seaside shops.

I would definitely spend more time exploring the Grand Hotel, which from the outside at least, is a property of its word. Built in the mid 1800s in the shape of a V for Queen Victoria, it had 365 rooms, (one for each day of the year) spread over 12 floors (one for each month) and was allegedly the largest hotel in Europe. It lost any claim to that accolade a long time ago, but there is no denying the role of the Grand as a defining feature on Scarborough’s landscape.

The Grand Hotel, Hendrik Jonas

When I started to write Impersonation I had a feeling I would end up taking my characters to the North Yorkshire coast. And that meant Scarborough. From the moment I got us there, I knew we were in the right place. I loved letting Ruth free on the town, and every day I spent writing that section of the book, I woke up feeling as if I were really there; as if I could open my curtains and see the fishing boats heading out to sea.

Perhaps it is as close as I will ever get to actually living on that cliff of mine, but part of me hopes not. Because as a local man once said to me “I’ve travelled all over the world, but when I look at Scarborough, I think ‘my God, it takes some beating.’” I am inclined to agree.

The beginning

I can remember the dress that inspired the first line and the line of thought that led to my writing Impersonation. I was in London for a couple of days, and was going somewhere on the Circle Line, when I noticed a blonde-haired, kind-looking young woman wearing a cream-coloured dress with a red and green floral print (at least that is what my memory tells me more than six years on). I would not be able to identify her again now, but as I sat there that day, I wondered whether she would recognise herself if I were to describe her physical appearance in a book.

In my notebook from that day, 1st February, 2006, I scribbled an unrefined first idea for my opening line.

I caught a glimpse of myself today. Not the me of a looking glass or the me as seen when passing a reflective shop front, but the me that strangers see. I saw myself in a book. A mere cameo appearance, but I am aware enough of myself to know the author had once seen me.