Author: Helen Cox

Helen Cox is a UK author. She made her on-screen debut in The Krankies in 1990. Given the choice, her Mastermind topic would be Grease 2 and when someone asks her if she is a god she says 'yes.' Oh, you want to know about her books? Best click some of the links below.

Immortality for Writers 101

kissing-jessica-stein-meme

Want to be immortal? No problem. There are a range of death-dodging solutions available to you. Drinking from the Holy Grail is a good one. Pretty straightforward, once you find it. Making out with a vampire, so long as they pinky swear not to eat you in the process, could also be fun if you’re into guyliner or corsets. Alternatively, you could follow in the footsteps of Wowbanger the Infinitely Prolonged and hope for some serendipitous accident involving “an irrational particle accelerator, a liquid lunch, and a pair of rubber bands.”

But this is all quite time-consuming., isn’t it? You’ve got new Star Wars films to watch. Hilarious cat memes to create. Crisp sandwiches to eat. There aren’t enough hours in the day for all this chasing down immortality rubbish. Isn’t there an easier way? Maybe.

In the film Kissing Jessica Stein, Jennifer Westfeldt (who plays the titular Jessica) claims our words can help us live on long beyond our years. If her theory is correct then at the moment I’m keeping the spirit of English novelist E. M. Forster very much alive as a quotation from his book: A Room with a View inspired the novel I’ve written.

The story I’ve penned is a romantic suspense that has its tongue pressed firm to its cheek, so it seemed beyond pretentious to put the quote on page one of my book. You know, like a big, worthy author might. Consequently, I decided to share the thread that weaves through what I’ve written here. In my own quiet corner of the web where it seems less likely this first-time novelist will be judged for getting ideas above her station.

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Pretty darn clever, isn’t it? A Room with a View is an exquisite book but this quote in particular has always stood out to me as a triumph of transmitting truth to the page.

The story I’ve written follows a thirty-something called Esther who flees England after the death of her husband. A death that has many a dark secret attached to it. She finds work as a waitress in the Starlight Diner in New York and is hoping for a fresh start. There’s just one problem: she can’t outrun her own shadow. Nobody can. Just as Forster’s quote suggests, Esther has to find a way to face up to all that has happened to her, rather than run from it.

Forster’s words were an anchor to me throughout the writing process. This was my first stab at writing a novel so I was adrift most of the time. Some days I spent thrashing about in panic (drowning, not waving). Others, I managed to doggy paddle through. Returning to these words, remembering the important lesson my protagonist had to learn, drove both Esther and the story forward. Helped me stay focused on what was at the heart of Esther’s journey. And in my own, small way, in using his words to create new stories, I like to think I’m helping E. M. Forster live on.

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This entry was posted on November 9, 2015 by in Author Blog and tagged , , .
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