Sunday, September 4, 2011
The Barsetshire Diaries~ Interview of Lord David Prosser
1. I am very interested in your Barsetshire Diaries. What inspired you to begin writing? And why did you choose to write what you did?
Hi Debbie. Thanks very much for your interest. I have been ill for a some time and very often housebound (chronic antisocial some say). A friend messaged to ask how my day had been and instead of saying "Boring" I set my day out as an imaginary diary. She loved it and demanded more. As an author she said it was a fun read. I chose to write what I did because the subjects are all around me and people are fun when you see their little foibles as long as you're not cruel.
Barsetshire is based on a small village and the characters that occupy it using my own experience as a village dweller. All the things that happen in villages and in real life happen here with a slant towards the ridiculous. I chose to set it in Barsetshire as I didn't want to name the place I live and because it's about 140 years since The Barsetshire novels were written. After 70 years Angela Thirkell brought them up to date with her times and now 70 years later I thought I'd do the same.
3. Do you write as a person from Barsetshire?
I write as Lord of the Village in which I'm living within Barsetshire.
4. Please tell us some of the story that is revealed by the diaries to whet our appetites.
There is an occasion in the first book where I have to attend a funeral as a coffin bearer. Of the four of us, two are tall and two short. The organiser arranges the two shorter of us at the front and the two taller at the back. As we follow the Vicar the path slopes sharply down, the two of us at the front find the coffin slipping forwards towards the neck of the vicar and we have to put on speed to keep up with it. On a slippery path only mayhem can ensue.
5. Could you provide some sample diary entries?
From Book 3. More Barsetshire Diary.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Oscar's Gift and the Baron's Lady
I woke at 6.00 am. There was no pressure on my chest, no damp nose on my eyelids, nothing attacking my feet and yet I had woken so early. It took me a few seconds to realise that I was actually awake because I was expecting the pressure, the damp or the attack etc. I thought I must be suffering from some form of Stockholm Syndrome where the captive becomes dependant upon and would do anything for the captor. Where was the little grey blighter?
I got up, expecting at any moment to hear the miaow telling me he was hungry, but I heard nothing. I cleaned and refilled his dishes anyway and then made myself a pot of tea for a change.
By 8.00 am I had been for a shower, got dressed and woken Lady J with her usual bucket of coffee, which in order not to spill it I'd rolled along on a hostess trolley. That's not really true but her cup is so large it should be true.
There was still no sign of Oscar.
It was 8.30 am when he finally showed up. We always left a window open to accommodate his comings and goings but he was usually as regular as clockwork.
Today as he returned we heard a series of very muffled mews as though he was wearing a gag, a sound we had heard before when he had managed to wrap one of Lady J's bras round his head after falling into the laundry basket.
Anyway, we heard the sounds of his approach and then my heart dropped to my stomach as he sauntered into view and before I could take action, dropped a dead mouse at my feet. Honoured as I was, it still bothered me when he caught mice or birds when I felt he was well enough fed. Ridiculous, but I couldn't help it.
Before I was able to draw another breath, the mouse moved.
From Book 2 The Queen's Envoy.
This was fun to write as it's a prequel and gave me chance to go on adventures like a spy as well as having fun interludes at home.
Thursday, November 28, 1991
Alvin and the Chipmunks
Got up early this morning. From my window I could see the square and all the guards. There was no one in the passage outside my room so I decided to explore a bit. I showered and dressed first and then stepped out and shut my door. As I did so I noticed a red light flickering opposite and realised that there was a camera trained on my room.
Pretending I hadn't seen it I walked along the passage way in the opposite direction to the way I'd approached it last night. I soon came to two sets of stairs. One led down, presumably to the rooms I'd been in yesterday, the study and dining rooms, or maybe the kitchen was there. The other stairs went up. Faintly from up there I could hear singing of a sort. I confess the voices I could hear were more reminiscent of Alvin and the Chipmunks played at 78rpm but they were still recognisable as those of women.
I was tempted to go up but as I heard movement from below I chose to go down instead. Mehmet must have been at the bottom, shouting at Abdullah. “Find him, you fool!” I heard. “Umh, umh,umh”, was the only reply. As I appeared Mehmet stopped short, which was I suppose appropriate for someone his size.
“Good morning, Lord David”, he said, “It appears Abdullah has lost my favourite dog”, he improvised, but I knew he'd been referring to me. Turning to Abdullah he just said “Go”.
“Would you like some help to look for the little fellow?” I ventured.
6. How many books in total have you written, and could you tell us the titles?
In total so far there have been just the three books. My Barsetshire Diary, The Queen's Envoy and More Barsetshire Diary. Thee is a fourth in the planning stage where I shall have a few more adventures following the Second book.
7. Has research for the books taught you things you did not know before?
Oh yes; in book two I had to create a country for one chapter but I decided to stick to existing places after that. When I came to look at Sanliurfa as a place to visit, I was amazed not to have heard of it considering it's historical interest. Some regard it as the birthplace of the Biblical Abraham.
8. Where can we obtain a copy of your books?
The first two books are on Amazon and on Kindle. Book 3 is currently only available from Lulu.com because of a backlog on inputting books onto Amazon. Book four is only available after plying me with alcohol of a thumbscrew. I get the choice.
Lord David Prosser's Website