Why my writing is a bit like a nesting Matryoshka doll.Yesterday I found this battered little Matryoshka doll on the pavement. A lady at the bus stop looked at me oddly when I picked it up, but I didn’t much care because I like to rescue bits of abandoned or lost treasure. This poor scuffed soul has been separated from its family of dolls that nest within each other, from biggest to tiniest, so I have given it a home on my studio shelf with a lot of other small gems.
I had a very funny ‘Aha!’ moment when I found the doll, because when I tell people about the stories I write, I often describe my plots as being like Matryoshka dolls. Just like my paintings, which I often build up with layers of pigment, I like to write stories within stories. The Blackhope Enigma is all about layered paint and stories hidden inside other stories. I am busy working on my next novel (with a top secret title) and it’s shaping up to be another nest of interlocked stories. I just can’t help myself! I like to write what I would want to read myself – and that means secrets, twists and things not quite turning out the way you thought they would!
So I find myself with a new two-inch tall ‘writing talisman’, or lucky charm. The little Matryoshka doll, with her half-smile and otherworldly half-eyes, is a powerful reminder to me of where I am going with my stories – and where I have come from. A few years ago I would never have imagined writing a novel, and yet here I am with my creative life transformed and a new moniker: author-illustrator.