Now that Accidentally In Love is out in the world, I thought I’d tell you a few things things you may not know about the book, my casual observation of art and the world the book was originally going to inhabit.
1. Originally set in Geelong, Australia. I had the art shop picked as the old fire station, frequent trips to the amazing grocer on Pakington Street, and Katharine leaving her job at the National Gallery of Victoria. At the suggestion of my editor, we moved it to Sheffield – a great idea because it allowed me to love my favourite place from afar.
2. Characters from A Recipe for Disaster who were slated for an appearance in the original story included: Lucy & Oliver, Lucy’s brother Iain, and Patrick .
3. Comic relief was originally provided by Adam’s old school friend, Rafe, who served as the person who introduced Christopher and Katharine.
4. I was watching a lot of Rafe Spall at the time, which is where the name came from.
5. One of my favourite scenes was cut. It involved Katharine heading to London to meet with Daphne, a rather eclectic artist in Little Venice. I always pictured her as an Helena Bonham-Carter type woman. It was a hugely funny scene to write, but it just didn’t work in the grand scope of the story.
6. A lot of the best lines ended up being given to Fiona, so all was not lost.
7. I’m certainly no expert in art, but my favourite piece is Richard Carline’s Self Portrait in Uniform from 1918. I fell so in love with it when I saw it in a touring exhibition that I purchased a print from the Imperial War Museum archives, and it hangs in our hallway. It’s a great study in human trauma (Carline served on the Western Front in WW1), and his face often served as inspiration for Christopher, though a bit blonder and with more hair.
8. Richard Carline was responsible for making picture postcards popular. Postcards play a role in Katharine and Christopher’s relationship.
9. Accidentally In Love was originally self-published as First Comes The Night. While I loved the characters of Katharine and Christopher, I no long thought the story and content reflected me (translate: it was terribly amateurish), so I took those characters and their oversized personalities and crafted a more modern, equal story for them.
10. The large print rights have recently been sold to Ulverscroft in Sydney, so there’s going to be a large print edition coming soon.