A writer friend alerted me to this article today, and it has made me ridiculously excited. If you’ve read my book The Emerald Comb you’ll see why, and if you haven’t – well maybe this will make you want to!
In my book (and don’t worry, this isn’t really a spoiler) an old beech tree blows over in a storm, and some bones are discovered at its roots. I did a lot of research around this – making sure bones could survive for hundreds of years under a tree. I picked a beech tree because their wide, shallow roots mean they’re more easily blown over in a storm (compared to, say, an oak) Also they tend to suck moisture out of the ground. Bones last longer in drier soil. Finally, with no tap root the bones would be better able to stay relatively undisturbed. All this is important to my story.
So when I read this article, you can imagine how delighted I was to find out that I’d got my research right – bones really could last under a beech tree for hundreds of years, and be discovered when the tree blows over in a storm! Mind you, I wish now I’d had half the skeleton lifted up
by the rootball as this one was. Didn’t think of that. (And if I had, I’d probably have thought it was too unlikely!)
You know, if I hadn’t already written The Emerald Comb I would right now be so inspired by this Mirror
article I’d be trying to think of a plot surrounding it. I wonder if there’ll be a spate of bones-under-trees novels now? If so, remember that I got there first!