Join Rose Tremain to talk about TRESPASS - our Book of the Month - on Thur 20 Jan, 8pm

(96 Posts)

A date for your brand new diaries...

We've chosen TRESPASS by Rose Tremain as our January book of the month.

It's a thrilling novel about disputed territory, sibling love and devastating revenge, by the bestselling author of (amongst many others) The Road Home (winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction) and Restoration (shortlisted for the Booker Prize).

We're really pleased that Rose can join us for our next book club discussion on Thurs 20 Jan at 8pm.

Read more about Trespass and Rose's other books, plus read an interview with Rose when Trespass was longlisted for the Booker...

Hope you can join us, should be a great discussion.

Evening everyone

I'm absolutely thrilled to introduce Rose Tremain as tonight's Author of the Month. Rose's books have featured heavily in Mumsnet 'top favourite' threads, and I'm delighted that we have the chance to ask a few questions.

So without further ado...

Rose, thank you very much indeed for taking time to talk to us. Perhaps we could kick off with the advance questions from further up the thread? And then we'll aim to get through as many as possible over the next hour.

And here are my two standard Mumsnet Bookclub ones:

Which childhood book most inspired you?

What would be your first piece of advice for anyone attempting to write fiction?

Wheelybug Thu 20-Jan-11 19:59:00

I finished (and didn't even neglect the children too much).

I loved it - v. readable and v. interesting, something different.

I have never read any other of your books (sorry !) but mean to rectify this now - which would you recommend reading next ?

I have 2 questions relating to the book -

relating to the book. There is a common theme in the book regarding relationships with mothers/sisters which is all slightly sinister. Hopefully, its not something you've experienced yourself so how did you come up with the idea and how did you research it ?

Also, in your mind what became of the characters ?

Thanks

RoseTremain Thu 20-Jan-11 19:59:57

KittyFoyle

Hi Rose,

I loved The Road Home. I have a friend who is Bulgarian, working in London as a cleaner despite her economics degree. Her daughter is being brought up by her grandmother at home - they Skype but she is often in tears of pain for missing her child. I gave your book to her and she loved it too - she felt understood and was very moved by your work. I am a Londoner who moved to Norfolk (I'm near Sheringham) last year. Are there any places in Norfolk you find particularly inspirational when you need to think?

So glad you and your friend enjoyed The Road Home and that she identified with Lev. It was a wonderful book to write. I got very fond of the characters myself. As for inspirational places, I like to walk on Winterton beach, where sometimes you see seals basking in the surf.. But I guess I work most serenely from my own study, which has a sloping view of a garden and I feel happy in its green quietness.

RoseTremain Thu 20-Jan-11 20:01:59

Amiable

This is the first time I've joined the book club, but just had to when I saw Rose Tremain will be coming in. I met her at a talk she did a couple of years ago at Goldsmiths, and she was really lovely - very interesting speaker and funny too!

Rose - I LOVED The Road Home, and have read some of your other books since then, and the thing I find fascinating is the range of subjects you write about, different periods of history etc. What inspires you to write about a particular topic? Also, are there any of your books/stories that in hindsight you would have written differently, and if so, why?

I think, from the start of my writing career, I’ve always been interested to write about people and places which are in some way beyond my own experience. I try never to go to the same place twice.
But it’s always mysterious how and why a subject suggests itself. Indeed very hard to analyse. I think, with Trespass, I’d had the feeling that the Cevennes region of France would make a fine setting for a story, but that story only started to arrive in 2008. And here, what I saw early on was that this story would be about a man trying to rebuild his life in a place he couldn’t understand.
Re hindsight, I can see great flaws in all my early novels, but they have to be left as they are: they were the best I could do at the time!

sophable Thu 20-Jan-11 20:04:16

Hello Rose,

I am a massive fan of your work, from Music and Silence, through Restoration right up to The Road Home.

I think The Colour and Music and Silence are my favourites although I've loved them all.

When did you know that you were going to be a writer? Was it when you were first published, or did you know it in your bones from childhood?

Thank you so much for all the pleasure and escape you've afforded me through your books.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 20-Jan-11 20:05:23

Welcome Rose.
envy at working serenely.
<thinking of my question>

RoseTremain Thu 20-Jan-11 20:07:22

makemineamojito

Just finished Trespass last night. Phew, nothing like a deadline to get you focused on reading a book in amongst trying to keep children happy! Looking forward to Thursday's discussion.

I have a question for Rose: How did you plan Trespass? Obviously the first chapter demonstrates that you knew how one of the main threads of the story would proceed, but was the rest of the story clearly mapped out from the start (and if so, did you find that anything changed as you wrote, or did you stick to your plan?!)

(I ask this because at certain points in the book I could imagine various outcomes and I wonder if Rose felt that too, and ever felt she had to choose between them).

With most of my novels, I only plan about to a certain moment in the book, but with Trespass, the plotting was very complex, so I had an outline plan before I began writing.
One or two things changed as the book went on, but mainly I followed the plan. What was hard was matching the internal experience of the characters to the outward happenings in a way that made them totally real for the reader.

JohnPearceLadle Thu 20-Jan-11 20:07:32

Hello Rose- My husband and I loved the stage version of Restoration and hopes it comes to London. We both wonder if you are indeed now writing about Merivel 20 years on, and if so, is it proving as exciting to write as Restoration must have been? Thanks

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 20-Jan-11 20:08:30

Great name JPL!

RoseTremain Thu 20-Jan-11 20:08:30

MayorNaze

ooh - i have now finished this

i must confess that i have not read any other Rose Tremain books so i have no idea if there are any common/recurrent stylistic themes/features blush

my questions have spoilers, sorry

did audrun really find peace in the end? was the apology what she wanted or the fact that she had "got rid" of her brother? did she see her brother as a victim too?

i will come back later...

I think she gets as near to finding peace as she ever will. She’s alone in the land she loves. The punishment of Aramon is complete and she has had the revenge she dreamed of.

atrociouscook Thu 20-Jan-11 20:12:36

Hello Rose

Have lost the pages, but I wondered if you could tell me what "keened" and "keening" mean, eg "the dogs keened" and I think it was Aramon said keening.

RoseTremain Thu 20-Jan-11 20:12:41

DontWorryBaby

Similarly to makemineamojito - I think it's very clever the way the theme is linked into the different storylines. I'd like to know how you develop the different storylines and maintain the trespass theme?

The storylines were all interlinked - in a very complex way - from the start. What, in fact, I didn't have, was the title, as this came later on. But then, when I 'found' the title, it seemed to offer me many many meanings, the first of which is death's trespass on life and the second is the newcomers trespass on the land and the third is the terrible trespass of Aramon and Serge upon Audrun. So, in a sense, the title made the book's themes clearer.

makin Thu 20-Jan-11 20:15:21

Hello Rose I loved The Colour it is my favourite but I also enjoyed The Road Home I do not have anything constructive to say about them but please do not give up writing I will be lost I am reading Trespass at the moment and loving it.

RoseTremain Thu 20-Jan-11 20:19:24

Wheelybug

I finished (and didn't even neglect the children too much).

I loved it - v. readable and v. interesting, something different.

I have never read any other of your books (sorry !) but mean to rectify this now - which would you recommend reading next ?

I have 2 questions relating to the book -

relating to the book. There is a common theme in the book regarding relationships with mothers/sisters which is all slightly sinister. Hopefully, its not something you've experienced yourself so how did you come up with the idea and how did you research it ?

Also, in your mind what became of the characters ?

Thanks

I think you should read RESTORATION (which I wrote twenty years ago but which is still widely read)next, as - wait for it - I'm about to write the sequel and you'll be lost if you don't know Book I!

As to mothers and sisters...well, my own mother had a selfish side. The scene in Trespass where Anthony's mother, Lal gets zippered into her bathing costume and hsi birthday is ruined, happened to me on my tenth birthday in much this way.

I think the outcome for the characters is a little uncertain, but paradoxically the murder has set them free. Veronica will move back to England and create a beautiful new garden, and Audrun will be quieter in her soul after her accomplished revenge.

Thanks Rose, I see what you mean about the title making the theme clearer. I'd seen other examples of trespass in the book but that might be because the title made me look for them!

atrociouscook Thu 20-Jan-11 20:21:35

iT BECAME A BIT OF A DETECTIVE STORY TOWARDS THE END \I THINKand when I realised this I started to look for clues so kinda knew that it was going to be the little girl who would find Anthony. Did you mean it to be a bit of a thriller in this way

Guacamole Thu 20-Jan-11 20:22:07

I'm afraid I haven't finished, so will ask a question not about the book if you don't mind?
I love the intimate snap shots of the 'Writer's Room' on The Book Show and am always fascinated by the tiny traditions writers seem to have, for example Tracey Chevalier redecorates her writing room before every novel, I think it was Esther Freud who buys 10 identical notebooks before embarking on a new novel, another writer whose name escapes me fills her room with items that will help with inspiration... Maps of ancient Greece, Statues, Paintings etc... Someone else wrote in bed!

Do you have any traditions or rules you'd care to share?

RoseTremain Thu 20-Jan-11 20:23:01

JohnPearceLadle

Hello Rose- My husband and I loved the stage version of Restoration and hopes it comes to London. We both wonder if you are indeed now writing about Merivel 20 years on, and if so, is it proving as exciting to write as Restoration must have been? Thanks

Alas, no, I don't think the stage RESTORATION will make it to London. But yes, I am about to start on the sequel (see my last answer) I'm still at the research stage of the book, but hope to get going very soon. Merivel and the King are of course 20 years older and all the shine has gone off the reign and the country is coping with the kind of recession we are having right now! Will Merivel survive it????

RoseTremain Thu 20-Jan-11 20:25:37

sophable

Hello Rose,

I am a massive fan of your work, from Music and Silence, through Restoration right up to The Road Home.

I think The Colour and Music and Silence are my favourites although I've loved them all.

When did you know that you were going to be a writer? Was it when you were first published, or did you know it in your bones from childhood?

Thank you so much for all the pleasure and escape you've afforded me through your books.

What a lovely post! Thanks for that. I think I knew from about the age of ten that I wanted to be a writer. My sister was a very good artist and as kids we used to make our own books, with Jo (my sis) doing th eillustrations and me writing the text. But the sad thing is, these books wer all lost when my mother moved house.

V interesting to think that the two 'good' characters (V and Audrun) are set free by 'bad' events.

Were you glad that Veronica was set free from her French life and Kitty? Or did you have sympathy for Kitty? I got the feeling that Kitty was a bit of a drag, and that perhaps both her and V were living in a deluded dream which wasn't sustainable (like trying to garden without water...)

I have to say I thought Kitty was awful, utter wet blanket, and I cheered when she skedaddled off to Australia.

Elly68 Thu 20-Jan-11 20:30:05

Rose - love the book and couldn't put it down. One question though. As a writer you take from your own past experiences ie Lal was similar to your own mother. The bathing suit story you refer to. Do you ever feel exposed to bring in real life experiences as you may not want your readers to know such personal things about you.

RoseTremain Thu 20-Jan-11 20:31:26

Guacamole

I'm afraid I haven't finished, so will ask a question not about the book if you don't mind?
I love the intimate snap shots of the 'Writer's Room' on The Book Show and am always fascinated by the tiny traditions writers seem to have, for example Tracey Chevalier redecorates her writing room before every novel, I think it was Esther Freud who buys 10 identical notebooks before embarking on a new novel, another writer whose name escapes me fills her room with items that will help with inspiration... Maps of ancient Greece, Statues, Paintings etc... Someone else wrote in bed!

Do you have any traditions or rules you'd care to share?

Funny you should ask this; I'm about to let Sky Books into my study and take them on a guided tour of its chaos. I love the idea of a redecoration before each book, but no, my room has been more or less the same for ages, with some lovely birds on the wallpaper, who soothe me when I'm in a stuck phase.
I don't have any rules, except to try to work a bit every day - and that may or may not include weekends. A novel needs a day-by-day momentum and leaving it for long periods of time always makes re-starting difficult.

Wheelybug Thu 20-Jan-11 20:32:35

Thank Rose - tempted to download Restoration to Kindle tonight but have so much else I must read first I will resist and get a proper copy when next near a bookshop !

Sorry to hear the bathing suit incident was taken from experience - it was a terribly poignant moment in the book, you could really feel for the child.

JohnPearceLadle Thu 20-Jan-11 20:33:55

O thank you, Rose! We're jumping up and down here! What a cliffhanger!
<still sobbing about Pearce>

Calypso Thu 20-Jan-11 20:34:42

Hi Rose, I read 'The Way I Found You' years ago and loved it and then just finished Trespass. You have a remarkable capacity to get into the mind of characters of such diverse age groups - young boys and girls through to old men. Do you do much research into your characters, are they based on people/relationships you know?

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