In my new book I describe - amongst other things - a trip to Liverpool to play poker.
When I was making the trip I wasn't thinking it would one day be something I wrote about... it was just something I was doing for fun. One of the things I like about the process of writing is the way odd memories drip back into focus. I had a very clear memory of the walk from the train station to the hotel and I recall being struck by a pyramid shaped tomb in a graveyard. I describe it in the book as a 'show off's resting place for sure.'
Today, someone - @robdoylecouk - sent me a tweet with a link to this photo of the tomb by a flickr user TommyPatto:
Which has the following text accompanying it: "In which Mr.William McKenzie is entombed~seated at a table,with a winning hand of cards in his bony fingers....an inveterate gambler,it was said he bet,and lost,his soul in a game of poker with the devil...but,he reasoned,if he was never buried,Satan could not claim his prize....This is reputed to be one of the most haunted areas of the city.
I love discovering that the thing that had stayed in my memory since I made that poker trip is - allegedly - a poker tomb. My initial reaction was that I wished I'd known about the poker connection when I was writing the book... but actually, I quite like the fact that the connection has only just been made for me. Otherwise I don't think it would feel like a memory - more like a pre-researched "convenient" fact. I prefer the memory. And love the connection.