Tuesday, March 27, 2007

New Hero

I'm not the most experienced writer in the world (nominations for 'Understatement of the Week' to be in no later than Friday, please) but with a grand total of...er... 2 books under my belt I can just about confidently say that writing the last bit is the easiest, the best, the most exhilarating part of the whole process. I love it. By that stage I feel like I'm there, that I am the heroine; passionately in love with my man, full of despair and desperation at the thought of not having him, so haunted by his face, his voice, his hands (especially his hands...) that the words just pour out onto the screen. (And, best of all, I start genuinely feeling like I'm fifteen years younger and two stone lighter.)

The bad thing about finishing a book is that once the champagne bottle is empty, the cake is finished and the exhilaration has worn off, there remains the small issue of starting another one. (Book, alas, not cake.) Now, call me old fashioned but I'm a bit of a one-man woman, and once I've bonded with my hero I'm really reluctant to leave him and move on-- so far (that would be both times, then) I've been certain that I'm not going to find another man I can love half as much as the one I've just left.

And in that situation, what's needed is a lot of tireless, painstaking research.

Fortunately this time my selfless labours have been amply rewarded in the shape of lovely actor James D'Arcy. Oh yes. He's been around a while, appearing in quite a lot of weird, scary-type things that even I, an ardent disciple of his melancholy beauty, couldn't be persuaded to sit through (The Exorcist: The Beginning is one) but the pictures below are taken from the TV series P.O.W. in which he starred as a shot-down WW2 airman and had lots of opportunity to look gloriously brooding and dark. Sometimes in uniform.

The series went out a couple of years ago and was pretty much panned by critics for its historical inaccuracies.
Luckily my hormones have no respect whatsover for historical fact. I'm just looking forward about spending the next couple of months gazing at him, and thinking up new ways to make him suffer, because in this book the hero is going to have it reeeally tough. This is good news because torment is a look that I think James D'Arcy does very nicely indeed.
In other news: with just two weeks to go before Amanda Ashby leaves for New Zealand, she, Annie, Penny Jordan and I got together this weekend for final farewell. Aside from a difficult moment when Amanda said she 'didn't get' James D'Arcy's sex appeal, we had a wonderful time, and I like to think that by the time she left I'd won her round (the witholding of profiteroles and champagne until she'd kissed his photograph may have helped focus her thoughts on this) As it was our last chance to change her mind about going, Annie went for the old 'bribery by chocolate pudding' trick, supplying not one but two of the most incredibly dark and calorific indulgences ever, while my daughters attempted to hide Amanda's children up trees in the garden just as she was about to leave. But sadly, it seems her mind is made up.
I'm going to miss her.
(She'll probably be coming back for the kids quite soon, though... )

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Blogger Kate Walker said...

I got there before you, India!

I fell for Mr D'Arcy a couple of years ago when I saw him live on stage in Sheffield in Edward II As Edward himself was played by Joseph Fiennes and Mortimer was Lloyd Owen - that was a time when doing research was really really hard work!

Obviously we share the same rgreat taste in heroes


1:25 pm  
Blogger India said...


NO, NO, NO!!!!!

You've actually seen him IN THE FLESH????

*** envy overload ****

(Was he Gaveston? Was he wonderful? Do you still have the programme?)

1:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darling, you really were meant to be a writer. I've don't even live in the UK, and I'm distraught that Amanda is leaving. I feel like flinging myself at her feet and holding fast to her ankles so she can't go anywhere.

Amanda, have a safe and calm move!

India, get writing! Looking forward to seeing D'Arcy in my dreams.

3:26 pm  
Blogger Eva said...

Your Mr. D'Arcy — whom I've never heard of and whose name (of course) reminds me of Austen's great romantic hero — is a hunk! Good choice, India.

Again, terribly miffed to have missed yet another party. Oh, why, oh why, did I ever leave? Amanda, are you sure you have to go? You'll be leaving behind a great gang of friends (and no one knows it better than I do)!

Thank God for the Internet!!

4:16 pm  
Blogger Kate Walker said...

>>Was he Gaveston? Was he wonderful? Do you still have the programme?

Yes, Yes and - er - yes - somewhere . . .

So if you're jealous, I'd better not tell you about how I followed him out of the theatre ?

IPS I thought I'd posted this earlier but it doesn't seem to have appeared - but if it does appear twice, my apologies)

6:31 pm  
Blogger India said...


(I'm so jealous I've even forgotten to be shy!)

7:00 pm  
Blogger Amanda Ashby said...

So India, should I pick up the kids sometime next year then? Hopefully you would've sorted out A's temper tantrums and M's dramatic nature and will return them in a lot better condition than you found them.

And seriously, I did end up getting D'Arcy by the end of your four hour slide show - though I must say it was very crafty the way you smeared cream and chocolate onto your computer monitor. Of course I'm going to kiss the man - but I still contend that Mansfield Park wasn't his finest hour. In fact I might say that about Billie as well...

Right, now that I've managed to lower the tone and give away my kids, I should probably return to packing. Or watching tv. Honestly, the two tasks are practically interchangable!

7:22 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

Personally, I think Mr D'Arcy should have cleaned the chocolate from his mouth before the photoshoot. Or was that a remnant from Amanda's snog?

And I don't think you should count on Amanda returning for her children, India -I have it on good authority that there was a long chocolate trail leading to Air NZ at Manchester airport this very morning.

7:32 pm  
Blogger Kate Walker said...




PS Actually I checked - It was 2001 - so I definitely spotted him first.

He's very tall - 6' 3" (I could tell that by walking behind him!!

8:57 pm  
Blogger India said...

2001-- definitely at the peak of The Gorgeousness Years then.

(That wicked Amanda Ashby would have it that he's not quite what he was in the heroic looks department. I, however, remain as enthralled as ever.)

Oh yes, he's tall-- with the most divinely long, perfectly muscular legs. And hands.... In fact I have a picture of his hands that I might, just might, share....

Oh Kate... it's SO unfair! James Nesbitt AND James D'Arcy!! If I didn't adore you so much I'd seriously hate you, you know....

10:18 pm  
Blogger Kate Walker said...

Well about James Nesbitt . . .I might have some news on that later . . .watch this space . . .


6:29 pm  
Blogger India said...


You can see why she's the author of 50 best-selling books, can't you?

It's the suspense.

And the men.

Pleeease Kate? Put us out of our misery!

11:00 pm  

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