Wednesday, May 19, 2010

19. On Bindy Mackenzie

Bindy was a character who turned up near the end of Finding Cassie Crazy/Year of Secret Assignments. Nobody at Ashbury liked her but my sister, Liane, loved her. She said to me: ‘I can’t wait to read the next Ashbury book. I want to find out more about Bindy.’

I hadn’t been planning to write another Ashbury book. Nor anything else about Bindy, actually. But it was one of those situations where somebody kind, but misinformed, arrives at your place for dinner and says, ‘I’m really looking forward to your sticky date pudding,’ and after a moment of confused dismay, you run into the kitchen and make one.


I was walking along St Catherine, in Montreal, Canada, trying to decide how to write a book about the least popular girl in the school. At the intersection with St Laurent it was suddenly clear: it would have to be a murder mystery.

I wrote my murder mystery in an apartment in Old Montreal. It had stone walls, blue-framed windows, terracotta floor tiles, and a fireplace. The apartment I mean, not the book. From my window, I could look down on the pianist who played in the doorway of the Polish restaurant on the corner. I went to Olive & Gourmando, a nearby café, to drink café au lait, eat apple-cinnamon brioche, and read about poisonous animals for research. And I planned the story in my head while I skated on the pond down the road.

About Montreal: I never stopped loving the snow and ice. People are often critical of snow. Their hearts sink when they see it coming. I understand their point, but I feel the same defensive love for snow as I do for Bindy Mackenzie. Poor Bindy! Poor snow! It’s not their fault they can be so annoying. They are both so exuberant! And they mean well.


Blogger Elleira said...

wow it looks so beautiful!
When I had read the first 3 ashbury books, (it was right after I read Bindy Mackenzie) I immediately decided that Bindy was my favourite book. I think it may still be. It's so clever, and sad, and funny, and exciting!

I need to go to Canada one day. :) I've never experienced real snow (I live in Perth btw)

All the best with the next series! Kingdom of Cello? I play (or used to) play the cello! It's a beautiful musical instrument... it's the only musical instrument that sounds closest to human voice. I know the story's probably not even about cellos, but I'm just sayin'. :) heheee

God bless <3


PS I forgot to mention that my username is actually my real name backwards! I thought it may help prevent creepy stalkers. Thought you should know! :)

10:11 p.m.  
Anonymous Amy Nutmeg said...

Well done for making even Bindy likeable!

and those are lovely pictures of you, and Canada looks beautiful. and I am rather a fan of snow too.

In Europe I ran around in it like a little kid and my foreign friends walked along like it was nothing, and said 'spot the Australian!'

10:22 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I love hearing about your work! And I was just in Montreal a couple weeks ago. I completely forgot you lived there. I spent a day walking around St. Laurent, seeing the tam tam drummers, eating the best bagel I've ever had in my entire life, finding a used bookshop, and generally enjoying being in a city for a change. I want to go back again before it gets freezing. You're like Lorelai Gilmore with your love of snow. Snow I don't mind. Temperatures so cold it makes you cry are less fun. And when they last 4-5 months...misery.

I will be very sad when May ends.

OLB/Anna xo

10:47 p.m.  
Anonymous Sarah J said...

Always been fond of Bindy.

She is one of those girls everyone mistakes as being 'absofuckinglutely annoying' like someone said to Bindy in the book.

I'd choose Bindy over Astrid - I can say that much haha.

<3 x

11:47 p.m.  
Blogger Rushingrapids said...

I am Canadian, but I have never been to Montreal, and it doesn't snow like that where I'm from. I want to go there too, someday soon hopefully :).

12:46 a.m.  
Anonymous Karen Mahoney said...

Poor Bindy! Poor snow! It’s not their fault they can be so annoying. They are both so exuberant! And they mean well.

This made me smile.

Lovely post & pics. You're doing brilliantly with your blogging every day. I've been reading each day and enjoying it all... :)


5:37 a.m.  
Blogger Ellen Osborne said...

Look at all your comments J! ah!

I loved Bindy Mackenzie. I especially loved Finnegan Blonde. I had a guy in my life much like him at the time.

Good talk.

1:29 p.m.  
Blogger Jaclyn Moriarty said...

I have to say, there is a special place in my heart for people who like Bindy Mackenzie. Thank you to all of you for that, and you are now in that special place. I hope it is comfortable.
(And Elleira/Ariella, your name is beautiful in both directions! And I like that, about the cello being close to the human voice- that might turn out to be important in my Cello books.) (And Anna, I like calling you OLB, and that snow thing, that's one of the reasons I like Lorelai Gilmore. I only just discovered the Gilmore Girls.) (And Kaz, congratulations on YOUR blogging, it's been good having you posting every day too - and you're smart the way you have regular things like weekly interviews and teasers. Smart. I should have thought of that.) Jxxx

10:03 p.m.  
Blogger Karen Mahoney said...

J, I am not smart. I am simply too rubbish to come up with such beautiful posts as YOU write. I fall in with the regular rhythm of the blogosphere, just to give me a sense of structure.

Also, I love the way you write about your son (I just typed 'sun' by accident - seems appropriate). It makes my heart hurt, but in a good way... if that makes sense.


4:06 a.m.  
Anonymous sabiya said...

i really like Bindy. She is one of my most favourite characters :)

7:36 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jaclyn

i am not sure if you remember this, but you came to speak at my school a couple of days ago, Loreto Kirribilli (Sydney). I really enjoyed your story about the girl who taught you to swear and you inspired me to keep on writing the novel that i gave up on a while ago.... i hope I can get it published one day too! :)

Thanks so so much and keep on writing.

P.S I have started reading Finding Cassy Crazy. Great book!

4:40 p.m.  
Anonymous Clara said...

I read a lot of reviews where people said that Bindy was one character they didn't like. Well, it is completely different for me. I found myself in little parts of her- I wasn't the straight-A's student, but I usually had good grades. And she was funny and observant and I love her. One thing I liked about the book, is that in the end of the book, Bindy didn't change completely, she still remained intelligent, quick-witted and conscientious.
Love your books & I can't wait to read the new series!

2:13 a.m.  

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