Our next Read Regional event will be on Monday 13th June from 7pm at Pontefract Library. You are invited to join the Pontefract Library Reader’s group for an evening with author Helen Cadbury. Helen will be talking about her second crime novel Birds in the Nest, which, like To catch a Rabbit, features PC Sean Denton and is set in Yorkshire.
This should be a great evening, especially as Reader Group members have promised to do some of their famous baking for the event! Call Pontefract Library on 01977 727692 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where an idea first comes from, but when you read Bones in the Nest, you may recognise news stories that fed my imagination both consciously and unconsciously.
During the riots of 2011, I was staying in a cottage with no TV or internet. The only coverage of the riots I had access to was from the radio. The pictures were so vivid in my mind that they demanded to be put on paper. In the narrative, racial tension is rising on the Chasebridge Estate in Doncaster. Although the rioters in Bones in the Nest are doing it for a different reason than in London, I just knew that there was going to be a shop on fire, somewhere in this book.
Another strand in the narrative follows a young woman called Chloe Toms who is piecing her life back together in York after ten years in prison. Chloe is not based on any one person, but is inspired by the time I spent teaching in a women’s resettlement prison. It was a regular experience for me seeing women prepare for life outside, and the challenge of living under a new identity in a world of internet searches and cheque- book journalism.
Something else that’s very important to my writing process is walking. By walking, I don’t mean anything particularly special or energetic, but just walking around the streets where I live. I mentally placed the hostel where Chloe lives not far from my own neighbourhood, with the looming view of York Minster watching her, as it watches me on my walks. Being watched, whether for good or ill, is an underlying theme in the book, as is the family and its various dysfunctions.