Saturday, 19 November 2011

A Wonderful Coincidence

The story behind Part Three of this year's Penny Plain Mysteries is one of those  serendipitous coincidences that we are told never to use in our writing, because no one would believe it. But this one DID happen, so I did use it - albeit in a fictitious manner.

Earlier this year, when I was writing the second series of Penny Plain, I received an email through my website from Betty, now living in Canada, to say that she always had People's Friend sent to her from the UK and had thoroughly enjoyed the first Penny Plain story.

Betty in 'them thar' days
She went on to say that she had particularly liked the unusual jigsaw-code-breaking strand, and mentioned that back in the 1950s she had worked on aircraft crash data, trying to establish the weak points in the new aeroplanes then being developed.

At which point I leapt off my chair shouting "Yes, yes, yes!" and "FABULOUS!" and "I don't believe it!" Because - as I immediately emailed back to her - I was at that very moment writing the new series of Penny Plain which included a mysteriously crashed plane from the 1950s!

We have since kept up a regular email correspondance, and I was so grateful for the easiest research ever, that I wrote Betty - in very fictionalised form - into this week's episode.

Whetted your appetite? Good - go buy it.


Liz Harris said...

That's amazing.

I always like to believe that coincidences mean that something good is going to happen (unless the coincidence occurs in a Thomas Hardy novel!), so hopefully that will be true in your case.

If you haven't got a lottery ticket for the next draw, I'd get one!

Liz X

Jan Jones said...

Ha ha! Good plan, Liz!

It really was the most astonishing thing!

Debs Carr said...

I love coincidences and this one sounds amazing. Will definitely have to buy the mag.

Jan Jones said...

It was, Debs. Coincidences have happened to me before, but this was just SO apt. And Betty is lovely. (Are you reading this, Betty?)

adele said...

Have enjoyed two parts of PP and will try and get hold of the third! Fascinating story.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jan, I've bought it already, and enjoyed this episode of Penny's adventures. Will buy it to see what happens next.

Jan Jones said...

Glad you are enjoying it, Susan. Hope next week's doesn't disappoint!

Thanks, Adele. Let me know if you can't get Part 3.

Betty said...

I have re-read all the new comments plus the new ones and enjoyed them all. I will have to wait until Christmas to read the new Penny Plain as I have only just received the Oct 16 issue.
We are now into winter -13C and 4 cms of snow over the weekend. On Saturday I attended the memorial service of Al Bartlett who had worked as a volunteer with me at the Winnipeg Aviation Museum. He had lived a very interesting life and had done a great deal of bush flying both on floats and wheels. It was interesting to look throu his logbooks and see the kind of aircraft he flew. Mostly Cessnas but a few Taylorcraft the same kind of aircraft I flew back in the fifties. The English countryside does not resemble the Canadian bush though. I recently took part in a Women in Aviation flight with my granddaughter and her friend (and the pilot of course). I was allowed a hands on and managed to set off the stall warning! It was fun and a beautiful sunny day. Quite a contrast to today's weather

Jan Jones said...

Betty! You made it through the ether! Sorry you have to wait for so long for People's Friend to arrive - hope you find that it is worth it.

And I never realised Canada had a 'bush'. I'd assumed it was an Australian term. I live and learn.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Jan!

And if you pop over to my blog, you'll find you've been given an award.


Hope to see you at the next party - family stuff interfered with this one. Ha.


Jan Jones said...

Thanks, Juliet. Much appreciated. I'm hopeless at those blog-award thingies, but will pop across and leave a comment.