• My celebrity stalker!

    13 January 2012

    Help!! I'm being stalked by Jacqueline Wilson!!! She seems to follow me everywhere I go, to the theatre, underground on the Tube... is there to be no escape for poor, unfortunate Darren Shan?!?!?



    Heh heh, but seriously, our paths HAVE bizarrely crossed over the last couple of weeks. First, Bas and I were waiting for a Tube train one day, on our way back from a day touring Hampstead, where we hadn't been before. As a train came to stop, I spotted a familiar face in the carriage that we were getting onto -- Jacqueline Wilson. I know Jacqui quite well, having met her a few times over the years, especially when I was in Dubai a couple of years ago and got to spend a lot of time with her. We had a short chat on the train, and both laughed at the extraordinary coincidence of meeting in such a fashion. We're both going to the Duabi Literary Festival again this year, so when we said goodbye, we said we'd catch up in more detail then.


    Nuh-uh!! Just over a week later, I went to see "Matilda" with Bas. During the interval, I went to wait for Bas in the downstairs bar while she was looking at merchandise. When she came to meet me, she hadn't bought anything -- but she HAD managed to pick up Jacqueline Wilson!!! Yes, Jacqui was there for the show too, and the pair had bumped into each other in the corridor, even though it was teeming with hundreds of other people!


    I had meant to post a blog about coincidence after our first meeting, but never got around to it. Having crossed paths with her again, I could put it off no longer! Writers often get criticised if they include big coincidences in their novels. It's something we often have to do, in order to move a plot forward, but critics don't like it. "Too convenient," they tut. "As if!" they exclaim. But the truth is, real life is far more coincidental than even the most outlandish of books. In a city of several million people, I just happen to board the same carriage on the same train on the same line at the same time on the same day as Jacqueline Wilson?!? We then both just happen to book tickets for the same performance of the same show on the same day a mere week later?!?


    If that had happened in a novel, readers would be saying "No way!!" But, in real life, it most definitely was way!!! It frustrates me sometimes, when I'm writing, and trying not to include too many big coincidences. I know that in real life you can get away with anything, because just about anything can and does happen. But in books we have to behave more unrealistically in order to appear realistic! After my run-ins with Jacqui, maybe I'll throw caution to the wind in future and throw in the same sorts of twists to my books that I experience in real life. The trouble is, if I did, nobody would believe me!!! There's an old saying, that life mirrors art, but let me tell you, it's doesn't -- life is far weirder and more unbelievably twisted than art can ever be!!!!


    Now, I'll have to stop at that point. Somebody's knocking on my door. I think it might be Jacqueline Wilson...

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