Words have a funny way of doing what they want. Take, for example, Chess and Chapattis. This was supposed to be the second book in my series: Cinnamon Grove. Well, I wrote it – but it wasn’t about ‘chess’ or ‘chapattis’. In fact, an entirely different book came out. And so Chess and Chapattis is now called ..wait for it … The Black Cat Detectives – which is in fact what it’s all about. Hooray.
A title change is a peculiar thing. It feels like losing an old friend in a baggy jumper and gaining one in fancy shoes. Kind of exciting and sad all at the same time. I think this is going to happen to me a lot. Mainly because my words don’t do as they’re told. Nor do my characters. Every time I tried to make Ramzi Ramadan and Shaima Stalk follow my ‘plot plan’, they caught a bus and went into town – without me! I kept being left with no characters and an empty page. In the end, I gave up and followed them. And thank goodness I did! They set up The Black Cat Detective Agency, stopped some villains burning an endangered beetle collection, and saved Aunty Urooj from the dastardly Rasheed Khan. I wonder what they’ll do next?