A chance encounter

It’s been a busy weekend. Friday started with a 5 hour train trip from London to Edinburgh for an afternoon meeting, then across to Glasgow to visit friends and family.

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Before returning to London on Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting David Neilson, author of the Sophie Rathenau historical mysteries. David and I are both originally from Scotland. By some strange coincidence we were visiting Glasgow on the same weekend, even though David moved to Germany 10 years ago and I’ve been living in England for 20 years.

We first encountered each other a couple of years ago on Scribophile, the online writing workshop. This was our first in-person meeting. As I walked into the cafe, I imagined David seated in a corner, drinking a tisane with a lean woman with frizzy black hair, large hands and a Viennese accent. Of course, Sophie wasn’t really there: and it was a relief that her trademark pistol was absent too. Even in the 18th Century Vienna she inhabits, waving a firearm around might provoke awkward questions.

Neither of us is too experienced at this “selfie” business!

Over lunch (smashed avocado and egg for David, halloumi and rocket salad for me), we chatted about how Glasgow and Germany have changed over the years, as well as education (which was David’s field before he retired). Of course we chatted about writing too, and the uses (or otherwise) of Twitter and other platforms. The question I really wanted David to answer was “When’s Serene coming out?”

Thankfully, it seems we don’t have too long to wait. David didn’t specify a date for his third Sophie Rathenau book, but it’s close to readiness for release. I very much enjoyed reading through an earlier draft of the novel last year, and it’ll be great to read the final published version.

If you want to explore Sophie Rathenau’s world, The Prussian Dispatch and Lay Brothers are currently available for Kindle and in print.

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