When Life and Fiction Collide (2)

Footprints blog

In Footprints (Breakwater/Jesperson 2008) I envisaged the young man and the young woman at the centre of the thriller as a kind of latter day Heathcliff and Cathy, sharing a bond that had something elemental about it, something that superseded being boyfriend and girlfriend and that made it their destiny always to be together.

When it came to naming them, I wanted for the young woman a name that was somehow timeless, maybe old fashioned, something matching her quirky, enigmatic character, and after a web search came up with Isora, to which I added a local (for me) surname, Lee.

When I couldn’t come up with a name that seemed right for her companion, I did what I often do when stuck for a name. I went for a walk in a local cemetery and looked at headstones.

And found Drumgold – just Drumgold – on a stark monolith of granite. The name seemed, in its austerity, to match the cool, inscrutable nature of that character.

A few weeks after the book was published I strolled through the same cemetery again. I acknowledged Drumgold as I passed that headstone, walked on, and noticed not far away, for the first time, although I’d walked that way hundreds of times before, a headstone memorialising … Isora Lee.






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