“You do realise,” a friend of ours said to me a few weeks ago, “that you’re actually turning into Ingrid Skyberg!”
“What are you talking about?”
“Well, first you get your hair cut short. Then—and don’t pretend you’re not dyeing it—it’s got blonder month by month, and now you turn up on a bloody motorbike!”
I didn’t see getting the bike as part of the writing process, but it has helped me with the odd plot point (hint: helmets can make terrific weapons when deployed correctly). When I got the first comments back on Shoot First, a few early readers corrected my terminology when it came to guns and ammo, but I was secretly pleased no one pointed out misuse of biking phrases. I’ve tried wherever and whenever possible to be faithful to Eva’s style, but I’m pretty sure that if she had completed the final draft of Shoot First it wouldn’t have contained the word ‘petcock’!
Taking over Eva’s books is something I have taken very seriously, but she’d be pleased to know that my dedication stopped short of picking up a Glock 23, or attempting a 5 mile run in 32 minutes (and, no, I haven’t tried parkour though I did jump over a bench to avoid a phalanx of strollers and felt very impressed with myself).
Neither have I grown three inches, or lost ten years. But in a Venn diagram of Ingrid and me, in the shaded area in the middle you’ll find motorbikes, an inability to accessorize, a liking of vodka straight from the freezer and—of course—Eva.
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