e-louise-bates
20.01.2022 - 39 minutes ago

Inventing a Cambridge college--a hidden, magical Cambridge college, no less, and one established less than a decade before this story takes place--is fraught with difficulty for this poor American. I barely even understood half of the system when Carl was working on his doctorate there; trying to figure out the details and make them plausible for a general reading audience is even harder. Fellows? Would such a new college have fellows? (Do I have my head wrapped around what makes a fellow a fellow? Not really.) Professors are a no except under specific and extraordinary circumstances, I think I'm correct there, and of course there wouldn't be doctors of magic yet, though eventually the college might aspire to postgraduate degrees.

I do at least grasp the concept of supervisions (thanks to Carl), and there would be some labs and lectures, but, overall, whew. Attempting to research this also has a tendency to leave me just as confused as I was before.

(Also HOW can I have my sleuths interacting with students and staff alike at a meal, when clearly as guests of the college they ought to eat at the high table?)

Is it the ultimate hubris for me, an American who has never attended a UK university, to attempt to not only set a magical murder mystery in a Cambridge college, but to invent said college entirely? Quite likely. Am I going to go ahead and finish this story anyway? Absolutely. Look, I loved living in Cambridge for a year and a half, and would have been happy to stay there the entire three to four years we had planned, and so by heck I am setting this story there, and if one has already alluded to a secret Cambridge college for magicians in a previous story, and one is setting the current story in Cambridge, one is left with no other options but to feature said college.

However, one is also allowed to moan about it a bit as one writes it.

#writing woes #whitney and davies #cambridge uk #we can't let oxford have all the fun when it comes to murder mysteries #grantchester and imogen quy notwithstanding #yes I have named my college saint dorothea's and yes it is a tribute to dorothy l sayers #I thought about saint agatha's but it's a little too obvious #anyway #even though I'm moaning about it here I am mostly enjoying the story #it's fun to revisit cambridge even in written form
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