Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Rhys on What I am Writing. I wish I knew.

 RHYS BOWEN:  What am I writing?  Well, at this moment you can take your choice.  If those of you who are not writers imagine the writer sitting alone in the garret, waiting for the muse to strike while someone else brings coffee and cookies, please reimagine.

This morning I have done two loads of laundry, including bed sheets and mopped all the hard floors of the house before settling at the computer where I am not quite sure what to do next.

1.         I am in the middle of writing the next Royal Spyness novel that takes place at the house of Chanel during a fashion show. So lots of research and lots of mental juggling about how a certain crime could possibly have been committed. I get brilliant ideas like…. Wouldn’t it be fun if a woman was killed in the middle of a fashion show when all the doors are locked? And? Not quite sure yet.

2.         I am also doing a final edit on my next Molly book which has to go to the publisher on December 1. This is the series I’m writing with daughter Clare so we’re each doing our final clean up and John is doing his final read through to tell us that the whole thing needs to be re-written.

3.         I have just received the copy edits for my next big stand-alone WHERE THE SKY BEGINS. They are due on Monday and I’m dealing with things like queries that say , “You said three miles from town. Shouldn’t that be kilometers?” Picture one of those cartoons with head blowing off steam.

So a certain amount of juggling is involved as I try to work through all three of the above while also juggling a request to write an article on Agatha Christie for an upcoming book, to write a piece on historical novels for an upcoming book etc etc. Ah for that peaceful garret! I have to add that John does bring me coffee.

So I thought I’d share a small snippet from the book I’m trying to write, the next Royal Spyness called something to do with Paris and fashion and murder and runway. Title suggestions please? Runway of Death, In the Paris Fashion, Dressed to Kill, etc etc.


Georgie is staying with Belinda but suspects her husband Darcy is on a dangerous mission in Paris. She is being taken up the Eiffel Tower by Belinda’s new beau, a French count.

We went across to the tower, paid our money and joined the line for the lift. The first lift took us to a broad platform. We walked around, taking in the view from all sides. Louis-Philippe was a good tour guide. He pointed out the gardens and fountains of the Trocadero on the other side of the river, the Arc de Triomph looking quite small and insignificant from this height. Then we followed the river to the Isle de la Cite, that tiny island in the middle of the Seine with its medieval looking fortress and the twin towers of Notre Dame. Louise-Philippe told me that no building in Paris is allowed to be built higher than the cathedral. He named gardens and parks, the impressive expanse of woodland that was the Bois de Bolougne and on the far side of the city a building with glistening white domes that even I knew was the Sacre Coeur on Montmartre. It was all quite breathtaking and somehow gratifying to know that monuments I had dreamed about really did exist and I was among them.

Then I looked down onto the Seine below us, the river busy with pleasure boats on a Sunday afternoon. On the quayside I spotted a man with a bald head, pouring over a large map. As I focused on him he approached a passing stranger, pointing at the map. The man stopped obligingly and also pointed out a route. The first man nodded thanks then set off.  The other man watched him for a moment before turning away.

                From this height it was impossible to see faces but I could have sworn that the man who gave the directions was Darcy.  Was he just being polite to a tourist or was this more? I tried to recall exactly what I had seen. Wasn’t there something about the man with the map that hinted at being German? Something about the cut of his jacket. Had he just pointed at the map, or had something passed between them? A small piece of paper? As if in answer to my question I saw two men who had been standing at the coffee kiosk on the quay move out of the shadow and set off after the man with the map.

So far so good. We've set up danger and conflicting missions. And I'm really enjoying spending time in Paris. But a title would be good. Any brilliant suggestions?

53 comments:

  1. Goodness, that’s a lot to handle all at once . . . .

    It’s interesting that, from such a height, Georgie is so sure that the direction-giver is Darcy . . . what an intriguing mystery that would be.

    As for the title [something I’m not very good at doing], how about The Paris Fashion Surprise . . . .

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    1. There is something about a person we know well that we instinctively know how they move and stand.

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  2. RHYS: Yikes, working on tasks for 3 different books is crazy busy. I think John needs to add some treats to that coffee he is bringing to you each day!

    The scene at the Eiffel Tower sets up the scene nicely. Having gone up myself, I can visualize the views that Georgie sees from that height with the bald man and (maybe) Darcy.

    As for title suggestions, here is what my not-quite-awake brain has come up with before 5:00 am without any coffee.
    WHEN MURDER IS IN FASHION
    CASHMERE (or COCO) CALAMITY


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    1. I was trying to play on the word Coco, Grace. Maybe we're onto something.

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  3. I know that feeling, Rhys!

    I'm no good with titles, but I like the Eiffel Tower scene.

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  4. The Latest in Women's Snare; Peril in Paris; Catwalk Kill or The Killing Catwalk; Runway Ripper; Last Catwalk in Paris or Last Runway in Paris . . . ???

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  5. And I complain how I multi-task. No comparison. I love the Royal Spyness series and look forward to reading this when it comes out. Sorry, no epiphany on title.

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  6. so many runway and fashion titles to chose from! I like the Eiffel Tower scene. Does Georgie carry small binoculars in her purse?

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  7. I've got it! PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA. (Julia ducks and runs)

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    1. Geez, that sounds familiar, lol.

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    2. Brilliant. I’ll use it! So glad nobody thought of it before

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    3. Brilliant. I’ll use it! So glad nobody thought of it before

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    4. We can have a challenge. Each Jungle Red writes a book with that title.

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    5. Don't say it unless you mean it, Julia! ;-) Jenn's already done hers and Rhys is well into her Paris book, so everybody else better be thinking up some characters and plots!! We'll be waiting!!

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    6. Ooh, la la! I still need a title, and that one is CLEARLY successful, so I'll use it, too!

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    7. Ha, ha, ha, ha. I'll just Wait For It!

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    8. You are all too funny this morning. But I had thought of sending Duncan and Gemma to Paris...

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  8. Thank you for this snippet Rhys, I’m looking forward to revisit Paris with Georgie.
    Sorry, I’m not good at all with titles .

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  9. First of all, I am so excited to hear of all your projects. Hurray,hurray! Love Georgie and company to death!


    Murder on the Paris Runway


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  10. The balancing act is amazing, Rhys. I'm sure Georgie will not rest until she knows if that was Darcy or not.

    Sorry I can't help with a title.

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  11. I love that you took us to Paris this morning Rhys--if only! How about A FASHIONABLE MURDER?

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  12. Looks like John is multi-tasking, too! Keeping those cups of coffee coming and critiquing the latest Molly for you and Clare. What would you do if you didn't have so many plates in the air, Rhys? What's that word I'm looking for? Relax, maybe? :-) Love this scene and also can't wait for the first Molly collaboration. And I can totally believe Georgie recognized Darcy. My father's commanding officer sent me copies of photos taken during the war--polaroids, faded somewhat, and yet I had no trouble picking my father out--the shape of his head, the way he stood, his shoulders--even when his face wasn't clear.

    As for titles, 'fashion' seems too contemporary, doesn't seem to catch the flavor of the time for me. But I can't think of anything to use instead.

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  13. All I've got is A Stylish Murder but I know you will do better than that!

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  14. Rhys! You are incredible. The rest of us are SUCH slackers. Paris...hmm Fashion. Murder in Vogue. Style. A la Mode. Chic. Stylish. Couture. Elegant. Atelier. Murder in Style. In the Style of Murder. A Designer Death. High Fashion Homicide. Those ARE ALL TERRIBLE and too on the nose. I'll keep thinking... xxxx

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    1. I'd love to include the word Paris. It is such a buzzword, isn't it?

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    2. Fashion and Murder in Paris ?

      Diana

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  15. This is so much fun to read! I had no idea that no one can build higher than the tower. Very smart. Between the Tower and the Seine, Paris is one of those cities where you always know more or less where you are.

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    1. Agreed, and smart that the city planners allowed a cluster of highrise buildings to be built in specific parts of the city outskirts (e.g. La Défense). Glad they decided not spoil the iconic views between the Eiffel Tower and the heart of the city with monster highrises.

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  16. Ah, Paris…do you think we could get a garret there to share? I love your snippet, Rhys! And now I am desperate to be back in the city of light.

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    1. I'm ready to share a garret with you. I know I'd never starve!

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  17. How does High Fashion Peril sound? Will we be seeing the Prince of Wales and Mrs. Simpson in this book? The House of Chanel sounds like the location of a spectacular meeting for Georgie and Mrs. Simpson. No buildings taller than Norte Dame? Wow. I've never been to Paris, is this still the rule?
    Good luck with the multi-tasking.

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  18. Clandestine Couture? Spying in Silk? Murder in the City of Light & Shadows? And please let Claire & Mrs Simpson have a cat-fight over a Chanel gown.... can’t wait to read it!

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    1. Real life story or perhaps a legend? My grandmother's older sister (so similiar to your Belinda) bought a piece of jewelry that Mrs. Simpson wanted to buy. my great aunt got it first. He he he.

      So many good titles. Clandestine Chanel. Spying in Silk.

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  19. "Death and No.5,"the first perfume I was ever given was Chanel No5. Here's what Wiki says, "Chanel No. 5 was the first perfume launched by French couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel in 1921. The scent formula for the fragrance was compounded by French-Russian chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux. The design of its bottle has been an important part of the product's allure. Coco Chanel was the first face of the fragrance, appearing in the advertisement published by Harper's Bazaar in 1937.[1] then you have a weapon too.

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    1. Something to do with the perfume? Maybe I could incorporate that.....thank you

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    2. Incorporating with No. 5 perfume sounds brilliant.

      Diana

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  20. Oh this is fun. Some Paris quotations ooze with romance and intrigue ... We'll Always Have Paris. The Last Time I Saw Paris. Too bad both of those are from WWII, so not there yet.

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  21. I worry that the word runway might indicate planes, since I write a lot about WW11.

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  22. Love the snippet! Do Darcy and Georgie know each are in Paris? As for titles, hmmm. Is Paris Burning? is already taken. Might be appropriate if Darcy and Georgie were there together. Coco knows from experience not to have Georgie model for her on the runway. Pret-a-Murder?

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  23. Hard to think of a good title that would include Paris.

    Perhaps this could be a good title? Fashion and Murder in Paris.

    Diana

    p.s. I was hoping that Belinda would be with Jago. I look forward to reading the next Royal Spyness and finding out why she is with the French count...

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  24. Oh, Rhys, I'm hooked! Your description of all the sites that can be seen from the Eiffel Tower platform makes me understand why everyone loves Paris so much. And, Darcy showing up. Pefect!

    What amazes me most about what you wrote about all your writing, Rhys, is that you took time to clean the floors. You put us all to shame.

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  25. Ooh, such fun, Rhys. I love that Georgie and Darcy are in Paris with different agendas. Can't wait to read this one! Titles are so hard. Murder is Never Out of Fashion? No. 5 Demise. Death in a Blue Hour. So hard to get in murder, Paris, and fashion! Will keep thinking.

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  26. I love that intro, dropped right in the middle of beautiful Paris and a tempting plot.
    MURDER A LA MODE . . . or would that make people crave ice cream? ;-)

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  27. I'm terrible with titles, but I've got haute courture on the brain. Like Haute Couture Murder/s in Paris, or Haute Couture Meets Murder in Paris.

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  28. Murder a la Coco.
    Oh dear. Now my mind has gone off on silly things like Two to Coco.

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