Anna Legat: My Guest Author: Attorney, Waitress, and Librarian – well-travelled Jill of all trades
Today I am really pleased to welcome Anna Legat back to my blog. We share the same publisher, Headline Accent.
She first appeared here in 2016 and she has written more books in her fab DI Gillian Marsh series since then…
Find out about Anna:
A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna Legat has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She read law at the University of South Africa and Warsaw University, then gained teaching qualifications from Wellington College of Education (Victoria University, New Zealand).
She inhabited far-flung places where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. She writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.
Read about the series she has written:
DI Gillian Marsh is the troubled heroine of my crime series, which include Swimming with Sharks, Nothing to Lose, Thicker than Blood, Sandman and finally Nobody Among Equals, which is due to be published under the Headline-Accent imprint next year.
Meet Gillian – Gillian Marsh, DI.
DI Gillian Marsh begins her day foraging in her fridge for scraps of food. She is hungry – always hungry, which comes as no surprise as her fridge is habitually empty. She doesn’t have the time or the inclination to replenish it. Grocery shopping is the last thing on her list (if there is a list). She’ll eat anything that will pop into her mouth, she isn’t fussy. Fritz, her cat, is. He only consumes freshwater fish, such as trout or salmon, straight out of a sachet. Right now, as Gillian inspects a mouldy piece of Edam, Fritz is yodelling at her feet, demanding instant gratification. First come – first served, and he was the first one to cross the kitchen threshold.
Considering Gillian’s appetite, her frame is surprisingly tiny. She metabolises food faster than you can say instant coffee. She feeds Fritz, and begins to strip mould off that piece of Edam. Two pieces of toast jump out of the toaster, and another two go in. Gillian doesn’t sit down at the table to eat. She eats on the move, a chunk of Edam in one hand, a piece of toast in the other. Her dressing gown has slid off her left shoulder and parted along her left breast, revealing her naked body, toned and alert, and totally unresponsive to the basic demands of modesty. Anyway, Gillian has lost her dressing gown belt. Corky might’ve chewed it, or she might’ve strung it in the garden to hang her wet laundry on (the washing line broke ages ago and there’s no man in the house to repair it). Gillian doesn’t really care to remember such trivial matters – her mind is constantly occupied with the case at hand. She is thinking. She is always thinking, and as we already discovered, she is always eating – Gillian is a master multitasker.
Because of her preoccupation with the case at hand, Gillian tends to forget a lot of incidentals, like most of her appointments, like the Sunday lunch at her parents’, like the fact that she was supposed to collect her daughter from the train station at four– like the fact that she even has a daughter. And a set of parents. She forgets these things, and there’s no one to remind her. Gillian is a loner. People tend to get on her nerves (and on various other parts of her anatomy). Especially people in authority, like DSI Scarfe – Scarface. If only he’d just concentrate on playing golf and attending garden parties and let Gillian get on with her job!
Six toasts and a black coffee with three sugars later, Gillian heads for the shower. She likes standing in the shower until the water runs cold, thinking. She is inventorising evidence from her current murder investigation. Inventorising is Gillian’s own linguistic invention, a cross between revising and inventorying, the mental equivalent of a hamster in a wheel. Gillian is churning facts in her head, facts and suppositions, scenarios. She doesn’t hear when the phone rings downstairs and Tara (her daughter) leaves a message that she won’t, after all, be on the 4 o’clock train – she’s off to meet Charlie’s parents. Not that the message would make any difference to Gillian’s timetable (we know already she remembers nothing about collecting her daughter from the train station later today).
There is no time for thorough drying. The towel is wet anyway – Corky had dragged it to the bathroom floor and slept on it (he doesn’t have any fixed abode). Putting a tight pair of jeans on your body is a tricky proposition – Gillian performs one-legged manoeuvers on the landing while, at the same time, attempting to negotiate the stairs. She succeeds; did I mention that she was a master multitasker?
She arrives at work on a Sunday, which is all the same to her. Says hi to DS Webber, who is there for reasons of his own. He wants to know what happened to her hair. ‘I washed it,’ she tells him, and shrugs. It probably stands on end resembling an electric orgasm only her hair can achieve. But her hair is an incidental and, as we might guess, she has missed all of her hairdresser’s appointments and doesn’t even know that her hairdresser has given her the sack. What she doesn’t know, won’t hurt her.
Gillian and Webber determine to interview their prime suspect in a particularly gruesome botched exorcism case – Father Dreyfus. To their surprise, they find Dreyfus in the middle of Sunday mass (is it really Sunday?). Gillian wants to interrupt the proceedings but Webber tells her to wait, so they sit through the liturgy until at last Gillian remembers the Sunday roast at her parents’. She only remembers it because her stomach rumbles – she’s bloody hungry…
I’ve been wondering about that one aspect of Gillian’s personality she would ask me to alter, given a chance, and I think it would be her disregard for incidentals. Deep down, I think, she’d love to remember them all because otherwise she will have to live in constant fear of waking up one day and not remembering her own name. In that respect she does take after me, her creator.
is the latest instalment in the series. In this book DI Marsh has to take on a seasoned Afghani veteran of two wars, the war against the Soviets in the eighties and the latest War on Terror. Things turn personal for Gillian when Sandman’s action affect those closest to her, Tara her daughter and her future son-in-law.
The last time Anna was my Guest Author:
Her last visit with me:
Thanks, Anna, I wish you much success with Sandman and with Headline Accent.
I do hope my friends who visit here will be inspired to investigate Anna’s books further. Do let her know. And, please leave a comment for her here to show her you have read her post.