Wednesday, 2 October 2013


Or, to give them their proper name, coincidences...

Co-inky-dinks is what they get re-christened by 7-year-old Benjamin, brother to Laureth, the heroine of my new book, She Is Not Invisible. Laureth and Benjamin's dad is a writer, a writer who's obssessed by two things: coincidences, and the number 354. He's been trying, and failing, to write a book about coincidence for years, and as the book opens, he's gone missing. Always a little away with the fairies, when his notebook turns up in New York when he was last heard of in Switzerland (or was it Austria), Laureth knows something is seriously wrong.

I also love coincidences, and coincidentally, have also been trying to write a novel about them for a very long while. I'm glad I've finished, now, so I can get obsessed about something else, but before I leave them alone for good, I just wanted to record a further coincidence that happened this week.

I've had some pretty weird ones happen to me over the years, and this is not the most spectacular, but it amused me a lot. Since in She Is Not Invisible, Laureth and Benjamin's dad is obsessed with the number 354, I thought I would work it into the text in as many ways as possible. It's there, sometimes deeply hidden in various ways, at other times very obvious.

Here are a few examples: each chapter title is composed of three words: three, then five, then four letters long. 'Two Dried Mice', for example. With one exception; the chapter which is simply called '354'. One chapter, 'The Final Clue', is comprised of a sequence of words that are 3,5,4 letters long in turn, and furthermore, there are exactly 354 words in that chapter. The page count of the book is 354 pages. The blurb conforms to a 354 structure. The word Dad is used 354 times in the book. The 354th word of the book is 'coincidence'. There are dozens more, but you get the idea.

So, the latest coincidence: Last week, a wonderful actress called Anna Cannings recorded the audiobook version. Last night, I got an email from the editor of the audio, saying he'd just finished the final cut of the reading, which, without him being aware of it as he was working, has ended up at 354 minutes long...

So, what coincidences do you have to share? I'd love to read about all and any in the comments, so feel free...

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