…and ever since, I’ve been wondering how to use the experience in a story. We writers are like squirrels in that we store life's little moments for future use.
I’d never had a deep longing to visit Vienna but I’d always wanted to see the famous Lipizzan horses so, as they wouldn’t come to me, I had to go to them. I booked tickets for a performance and, at the end of June, flew out to Vienna.
Worried we’d get lost and be late for the horses’ performance, I was at the Spanish Riding School early. So early in fact that I saw the horses being moved from their stables to be prepared for the big show. I couldn’t believe I was up close to these famous animals. In fact, I’d watched in open-mouthed amazement for a few minutes before I realised that the shiny black thing hanging around my neck ought to be used to record this momentous occasion.
|Lippizan heading straight for me!|
|Inside the Imperial Palace waiting for the horses to strut their stuff|
(No photography was allowed during the performance, sadly.)
The rest of our brief stay in the City was spent exploring and I fell in love. All the while, however, I was wondering how to use the experience in fiction. A murder committed while a spellbound audience watches the beautiful stallions perform beneath the huge chandeliers?
Maybe a body discovered in the Palm House? Decomposing nicely among the rare plants in the hot house?
|The Palm House|
|The Palm House|
Or perhaps the body has been cunningly hidden in a piece of artwork?
|Monumental Break by French artist Julien Berthier|
Weapons disguised as accordions? Killers wearing animal masks?
A power struggle ends in murder in the grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace?
|The Gloriette in the Schönbrunn Palace Garden|
Um, killer hare takes over a city?
As it stands, I'm still trying to finish The Final Echoes (aka The Book that Refuses to be Written), a story in my Jill Kennedy & DCI Max Trentham series, and that is firmly set amid the brooding hills of my hometown, but you can rest assured that Vienna will one day be the setting for some murder and mayhem. Whether that story involves killer hares or horses playing accordions remains to be seen. Watch this space!