Today’s guest blog is by author Anna Jaquiery. She is the author of the Commandant Serge Morel series set in Paris. She talks to Shotsblog about research and origami.
One of my favourite things about writing a novel is the research that goes into the story. This can be research into a detail or a major aspect of the book that I’m working on – anything from a type of architecture or wine to a particular religion or culture. I love the way a subject I initially know nothing about can gradually consume me. Over the past weeks and months, as part of my research for a new crime novel, I’ve been reading about North African migration to France. The more I learn, the more I want to know.
A couple of years ago, I found myself unexpectedly invested in another topic when I wrote my first book The Lying-Down Room. In it, I introduced my detective, Commandant Serge Morel. As I was developing the character, it came to me that he would have a passion and a gift for origami. It wasn’t something I’d planned, but once I thought about it, it made absolute sense. Since the book’s publication, several people have asked whether origami is a hobby of mine. The truth is, I can barely fold a paper airplane. But the art of paper folding suits Morel perfectly. He is a solitary man; alive to his emotions, but restrained; he has a logical way of thinking, and is also a romantic. Origami is both precise and poetic. It requires scientific rigor, and the ability to let your imagination take flight. I discovered exciting origami artists such as the late Eric Joisel, and Robert J. Lang. Based in California, Lang is an American physicist and also one of the foremost origami artists in the world. He gave me some insight into his craft. With all the time I’ve spent researching this particular aspect of Morel’s life, I’ve grown to really admire this art form. I’m still useless at it, but I’ve become a fan.
You can follow her on Twitter @AnnaJaquiery
Death in the Rainy Season
Phnom Penh, Cambodia; the rainy season. When a French man, Hugo Quercy, is found brutally murdered, Commandant Serge Morel finds his holiday drawn to an abrupt halt. Quercy - dynamic, well-connected - was the magnetic head of a humanitarian organisation which looked after the area's neglected youth. Opening his investigation, the Parisian detective soon finds himself buried in one of his most challenging cases yet. Morel must navigate this complex and politically sensitive crime in a country with few forensic resources, and armed with little more than a series of perplexing questions: what was Quercy doing in a hotel room under a false name? What is the significance of his recent investigations into land grabs in the area? And who could have broken into his home the night of the murder? Becoming increasingly drawn into Quercy's circle of family and friends - his adoring widow, his devoted friends and bereft colleagues - Commandant Morel will soon discover that in this lush land of great beauty and immense darkness, nothing is quite as it seems.
Death in the Rainy Season is by Anna Jaquiery and is published on 9 April 2015 (Pan Macmillian, £16.99
Interested in a copy of Death in the Rainy Season? There is a copy of Death in the Rainy Season up for grabs! To get your hands on a copy please send your name, email address and postal address to email@example.com. Don’t forget to put Death in the Rainy Season Competition in the subject line! Closing date is Monday 13th April 2015