I’m pleased to be joined by Christopher Bowden today. His latest book, Mr Magenta was published just yesterday. Welcome Christopher. First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
I’ve lived in south London for 40 years and my interests include gardens and gardening, reading, films, theatre, galleries, travel. All of which feed into the writing in one way or another. My younger son, David, is the bass player of the Fergus McCreadie trio, nominated for the Mercury Prize this year. I like jazz and that finds its way into the books too.
What inspired you to start writing?
Having had jobs involving a lot of drafting for others, I wanted to write creatively on my own account. Eventually, it became like an itch that I had to scratch and I took a career break to give me the time and space to produce a draft of my first novel, The Blue Book. I have now written seven books, the latest being Mr Magenta.
In a nutshell, what is your new book about?
It’s a literary mystery about hidden lives and second chances, moving between a house in south London, a Brooklyn bookstore, a theatre in Marseille, and a cottage on the east coast of England.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
All my novels have colours in the title. The colour in each one is reflected in the plot or themes of the individual books. With the new book, it was partly the word magenta itself, with its slightly exotic connotations, and the alliteration in the title: Mr Magenta. And partly the qualities of the colour: bright and vibrant but also ambiguous: not blue, not red, but somewhere in between. Also the fact that it is an artificial colour, an invention (in the nineteenth century). That too offered plot possibilities and resonates with what we come to know about Mr Magenta himself.
How did you celebrate publication day?
With a glass or two – and attending the launch of someone else’s book!
Do you have a work in progress just now?
The work in progress is publicising the new book. When the dust has settled, I’ll start thinking about number eight. Colour first, then the title.
What one book would you recommend to a friend and why?
The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster. A compelling, multi-layered story skilfully told.
What are you reading just now?
Lessons, the new book by Ian McEwan.
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
Remembrance of Things Past (aka In Search of Lost Time) by Marcel Proust, on the basis that I might be stuck on the island for a long time.
Is there a book you’d love to see made into a film?
Several people told me that my second book The Yellow Room would make a good film. It never has been made into a film, nor a screenplay, but I would not object if someone wanted to try.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
Through Goodreads or my Facebook page or by contacting me via my website: www.christopherbowden.com
Mr Magenta is available now in paperback and ebook formats.