Shades of Agatha Christie or why the right thing isn’t always best for your needs…

Some time ago, I decided my early-music soprano, Georgia Pattison, needed a love interest. I was, and still am, also working on a new historical crime series set in the Wars of the Roses, beginning in 1469 and thought how interesting it would be to join the two things up. So I invented Ned Broome, (The Midnight Clear). Ned is now Sir Edward Broome, since his father was murdered and, yes, Georgia stuck her nose in, as usual, and found the killer. I chose the surname Broome, since the Plantagenets took their name from the plant Planta Genista also known as the common broom, a pretty yellow shrub. I once read that anyone with the surname Broom or Broome has their origins as ‘wrong side of the blanket’ Plantagenets, but my book on British surnames cannot confirm that.

In the new full-length Georgia Pattison mystery, Laid in Earth, Ned also appears. As is usual, I intend to make a promotional video for the book launch and set about looking for a picture of a handsome, blonde man who satisfied my mental image of Ned Broome. And I found him. Yay. However, nowadays, it is necessary to get permissions etc. to use photographs in such presentations. This meant I had to find out who my blonde, handsome hunk was. Luckily, after some to-ing and fro-ing, a Facebook friend found him and sent me the information. And here is the not-so-yay bit.

In her autobiography, Agatha Christie said she used to sit on buses and trains and she would see someone who was perfect for a character she was creating. She used to then make a point of getting as far away from the person as possible. If she heard them speak, the magic died. If she accidentally found out anything about them, the magic died. She could no longer see them as the character she had intended.

You can see what is coming, can’t you? I found my perfect Ned Broome in a photo of an unknown man. But now, he isn’t Ned any more. He is a Canadian model called Gabriel Aubry, who had a relationship with Halle Berry, had a daughter by her and who got beaten up by Berry’s next squeeze. By all accounts he is an exceptional father. But, sadly, he cannot bLaid in Earth cover copye Ned Broome because I know about his real life.

What does this mean for the promo vid? It means I must use shadows and outlines for the video, but, it also means I must find another blonde handsome hunk and make no attempt to discover his real identity. Shame, but that’s writing for you!


Laid in Earth, the second full-length Georgia Pattison Mystery, coming soon…


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2 thoughts on “Shades of Agatha Christie or why the right thing isn’t always best for your needs…

  1. I always use images I take from the internet as physical representations for my characters. But I never know who they really are. In fact, I deliberately avoid anyone who might be a ‘celebrity’ precisely for the reason you state here, April. It’s easy to find another picture, though. Just ‘Google’ “blond man” in the images section and you’ll be presented with hundreds of candidates.
    If you filter your results by “usage Rights” and then select ‘Labeled for re-use’ you should be fine with the image for your video. But it’s as well to click on the image and check the site it’s come from, just in case there’s been a labeling error.


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