Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A Writer's Passage to India

Author Kirsty Murray talks about her inspiration for writing India Dark

I’m in Shimla at the moment, in the Lower Himalayas, once the summer capital of British India. It’s sixty-five years since India won its independence but you can still sense the ghosts of the Raj here in the Himalayan foothills. Shimla doesn’t feature in my novel India Dark because Pollard’s Lilliputian Opera Company, the real theatre troupe who inspired the story, didn’t venture up here in 1909. The town was under snow by the time the children reached northwest India.

Pollard's Lilliputian Opera company

  In 2007, I retraced the route the Pollard children followed, travelling by train in a wide arc around the subcontinent. I trekked through the heat and dust of modern Indian cities searching for remnant shadows of the Empire theatre circuit. British and Australian singers, dancers, music hall performers and magicians regularly toured every outpost of Empire. Child theatre troupes – or ‘Lilliputians’ as they were commonly known - were popular fare. But the events of the Pollard’s disastrous 1909-10 tour signalled the end of an era. Once the scandal broke in newspapers around the world and the truth about the backstage lives of the child stars was revealed, the Lilliputian’s reputations were destroyed forever.

India Dark is part of today's Amazon Kindle Daily Deal and so is 99p!

Follow Kirsty's Indian adventure on her blog:

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