Top crime writer Anne Perry back to where it all began
Feb 27 2010 by Liz Lamb, The Journal
HISTORICAL novelist Anne Perry is returning to her roots next month. LIZ LAMB chats to the best-selling author who started her writing career while living in Northumberland
"We lost touch until a few years ago but we are still friends and we often sit and talk about the good old days back in Newcastle," she says.
It wasn’t until she was in her 30s that Anne had her first work published.
"I think looking back I didn’t have a strong enough plot," she says.
"I love history. My novels are all set in the past.
"The question of ethics is just the same today as it was back then. The human mind does not change.
"I particularly like to put the main characters in a situation where a decision is very difficult, where you have to decide what do I believe? What do I value and what am I willing to pay for it?
"The choice between right and wrong is not worth considering, everyone is going to choose what they think is right, but this is more difficult.
"I do lots of research and I try to make the books as real as possible.
"What I like to do is find a plot. I think of something that is happening now, maybe something in the newspapers or on television, see if it is worthy of a plot and see if it will translate to the past. Then I will give it a different aspect. I watch and I listen and I think. People are an endless source of inspiration.
"I wonder about what they would do in that situation or what I would do."
Her latest book, The Sheen on the Silk, has a heart-stopping love story at its core. It is set in the cosmopolitan city of Byzantium in the twilight years of its empire.
"It’s a complete departure from what I have written before, it’s not a Victorian story," Anne says.
"I wanted to do something different. It was hard work because there was an enormous amount of research that went into it, but I really enjoyed writing it."
Anne, who has spoken about her writing at events in Sunderland and South Shields over the years, will return to the region next month when she will host a dinner at Jesmond Dene House Hotel in Newcastle. It’s a trip that she is excited about because it brings her close to her roots.
She says: "It will be nice to come back to Northumberland, my mother’s home county."
Anne Perry will be at Jesmond Dene House Hotel on Wednesday, March 10, where she will join guests for a three-course dinner and present her latest book, as well as answer questions about her career. Tickets are £38.50 and include a welcome drink and wine. For more information call 0191 212 3000.