I am a museum geek. There, I’ve said it.
As a kid, my favourite place in the world was the Natural History Museum in Kensington, London – not only an awe-inspiring and historic building in terms of its architecture, but full of wonders. On the quiet upper floors of the museum, away from stampeding dino-mad children, are my favourite rooms: full of rocks and gems in amazing colours and shapes. I was always blown away that these occurred in nature; many of them looked fantastical.
In recent years, the city of Nottingham was my home, and that has its own Natural History Museum, at Wollaton Hall (FYI: also Batman’s home in the movie Batman Begins). My son has apparently inherited my museum geekery, and so from a young age he begged me to take him to the museum. And it was there, one snowy afternoon, that I found the chalcanthite (or, perhaps, it found me).
Readers of Death Wish and Forget Me Not may recognise this rock. But it’s not just a rock that Jude gives Sienna to represent death and rebirth; it’s a rock that had a lot to do with inspiring The Ceruleans. It was the colour that spoke to me. That blue! It reminded me of the bluest of seas, the bluest of skies, the bluest of eyes. I became haunted by the colour; I couldn’t get it out of my head. And so I sat down and wrote, and infused the words with cerulean blue.