Dinner Party for Six

by Clare Langley-Hawthorne

So after battling two bizarre bouts of benign positional vertigo (who knew there even was such a thing?!) and a case of Laryngitis I have to say inspiration is a bit thin on the ground at the Langley-Hawthorne house, so I thought ‘who would I want over for dinner to help liven things up?’ To limit myself I went for ‘dead writers’ only – much more fun (and, hey, I am the historical author after all). Although the choices are vast, I also wanted to focus on those who would inspire me the most as I try (once the world stops spinning) to finish the third Ursula Marlow book.

Voila! Here’s my list for my ‘dinner-party-for-six’ (my husband gets to go out and eat with the boys while I entertain the spirits of writers past):

  • D.H. Lawrence – so I could get the low down on use of flowers as sexual imagery:) and ask how to really write a good sex scene
  • Daphne Du Maurier – to feed off her Gothic vibe
  • Jane Austen – so I could ask her (a) is she a vampire? and (b) how does she feel about Pride & Prejudice becoming a new bestseller as a ‘monster mash’ with the living dead? I could also do with her as a muse for some really good one-liners
  • Nancy Mitford – because she must have been such a savage wit and I need more of that in my life
  • Ted Hughes – tragic, hunky, talented poet – I can always use that kind of help (really, need I say more? – though I spent my adolescence despising and blaming him for Sylvia Plath’s death)
  • And me…of course!
There are many other ghosts-of-writers past whom I would dearly love to entertain, but this is the list of those I feel I need the most right now…

When you lack for inspiration who would be your ‘dinner-party-for-six’ picks and what would ask them?
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