Book Club

In this reg­u­lar fea­ture for Es­sex Life, Emma Jack­son picks out some lo­cal lit­er­a­ture that she has en­joyed and shares her favourites

Essex Life - - ESSEX BOOKS -


How long did it take you to write your first book?

It seems so long ago now, but I would guess it took around one year for the first one.

How do you come up with your plot lines?

I al­ways start with the open­ing as an idea, like a body on a train track or at a farm­house, and then start to work back from there: who, why and how.

Who or what in­spires you to write?

You could say I’m in­spired by Es­sex it­self. Af­ter writ­ing the In­spec­tor Frost pre­quels and liv­ing in Wing­field’s world, I was keen to write about places I know, so I wrote about West Mersea and Colchester in Black­wa­ter, and Kelve­don and Cogge­shall in Yel­lowham­mer.

How did you come up with the name of the book, Yel­lowham­mer?

I be­came in­ter­ested in bird­watch­ing when I moved to a ru­ral lo­ca­tion some years ago. I run quite a bit too, mainly through coun­try lanes, and in the sum­mer I started to no­tice yel­lowham­mers in the hedgerows. I was so struck by their pres­ence – they are quite ex­otic, if you’ve never seem them be­fore – and what a great name they have. I had to use it.

Are you work­ing on an­other book?

Yes, a third Lowry novel called Whitethroat. If Black­wa­ter is loosely about the Es­sex coast­line and Yel­lowham­mer the coun­try­side, then Whitethroat is about the town. If you haven’t al­ready guessed, whitethroat is also the name of a bird.

Yel­lowham­mer by James Henry is pub­lished by Quer­cus

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