Writing a sequel is proving to be an interesting project.  The principal characters, their voices and in some cases even their hair colour, have come back to me easily. It’s the vast Greek chorus of walk-ons that’s the problem. Who the heck was Dorothy Kurlich? Who was Norton Beebe? And why? When you write a novel you’re not really thinking about a possible sequel, though if you’re smart you should be (n.b. rookie novelists).

Much of my writing day is now taken up leafing through The Future Homemakers of America trying to place people and regretting that I populated the book with so many superfluous characters. But I guess real life is like that too. I recently had to go back through my daybooks for the early 2000s to identify the date of a particular event and I was horrified by the number of guests we entertained in those days,  to drinks or dinner or even overnight stays, whose names now mean nothing to me. I’ve forgotten them and they have very likely forgotten me. I dunno. What’s it all about, Alfie?

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