Showing posts from August, 2022

Eyja-something-or-other: The Volcano that Stopped the World

  One evening in April 2010 I was on my way to an event in a library in Chiswick in West London to talk about Where the Shadows Lie , which had just been published. I was a little early, so I wandered through a park, running over the talk in my head.  I was at that awkward moment in the book cycle where I had three books in my head: the book I was promoting ( Where the Shadows Lie ), the book I was writing ( 66 Degrees North ) and the book I was going to write next (?, Magnus III?, Help!). I was searching for a topic for the next one. Like The Lord of the Rings and the financial crash, I wanted it to be something relevant to Iceland, but also of worldwide importance. My phone rang. It was my wife, Barbara. She was in Beijing and had just been told that her flight back to Britain was cancelled because of a volcano in Iceland. This was the beginning of a fraught week for Barbara, who, after a few days hanging around in Beijing, returned to London via New York, Madrid, Saint-Malo and Por