Elizabeth Chats With…Margaret Barnes

My guest this month is a fellow member of Chudleigh Writers’ Circle and my writing buddy. In 2012, when we were both working on our debut novels, we met each week to work through our manuscripts together, honing our critiquing and our editing skills at the same time. She is a retired barrister, living in Devon, whose fiction is set in the law courts of London, a city where she spent much of her adult life and for which she has ‘an unrequited love’. I am delighted to be chatting with Margaret Barnes.

Hi Margaret; it must be a change for you to be on the receiving end of questions for a change. So let’s start right at the beginning. What is your earliest memory — and how old were you at the time?

My earliest memory is sitting in my pram outside the door to our house with a large yellow book which had pictures of a number of dog breeds on the front cover. 

What was your favourite subject at school — and which was the lesson you always wanted to avoid?

I liked geography – all those exotic places I hoped to visit when I was older. I was hopeless at languages but I detested Latin. I succeeded in being excluded from Latin classes when I was caught using a model siege engine to catapult wedges of blotting paper towards the blackboard; one of my ‘bombs’ hit the teacher by mistake.

If you had to escape from a fire, what three things would you take with you?

The bag with my wig and gown; that is automatic. A pencil drawing of my dog Rudi,  and a pair of miniature clogs, which remind me I am a Lancastrian. 

Talking about yourself, how would you finish the sentence “not a lot of people know…”?   

I stood bail for the woman accused of digging up the cricket pitch at Headingley in the course of the ‘George Davies is Innocent ‘ Campaign.                                    

Describe your ideal menu — and where would you like to eat it?

Lobster cooked on a barbecue on a beach anywhere warm.

If you could meet one person from history, who would it be — and why?

Darwin because I think he saved humanity from the worst aspects of religion.

Watch a film, go to the theatre, read a book or talk to friends — which would you prefer?

Talking to friends – my profession and my pleasure.

Upload a picture or a photo that best represents you, and tell us why (and it doesn’t have to be a portrait, although it can be).  

At my book launch in London in the Slightly Foxed Bookshop. Books, wine and friends and getting my own novel into print.

What would you have printed on the front of your T-shirt?

‘Learnt Law, Have Wig, Not Guilty.’ My life in six words.

Thank you, Margaret, for finding the time to chat with me today.

Margaret Barnes blogs as The Scribbling Advocate. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook. You can find her debut novel Crucial Evidence  by clicking here

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By Elizabeth Ducie

Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.

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