Anna Clarkson talks about her experience of writing THE INFINITE COLD and the help she had from Elva, a time travelling alien, who loves Durham.
I first heard Elva in a dream. She came into my sleepy mind and made me laugh – she’s a cheeky one. Then I didn’t hear from her for a while. She’s a time traveller, you see. She’d whizzed away down a crack in spacetime. I called after her – “Where are you going?” – but she wasn’t sure. She gets the past and the future mixed up; I think we all do sometimes.
She visited me again when Rebecca Willkie from the Book Festival asked me to write a piece, possibly for families, about space. I was lying on my back in a big field near my house looking at the night sky. I was shivering at the majesty and glory of it all and there she was, doing flips in the sky. “Of course, it’s for families, human children are the most fun of all!” And she offered to help me.
Then other people also offered to help me. Professor of Cosmology, Richard Bower, from Durham University, was very generous with his thoughts and explained how time travel might be possible (this is true! It really might be possible!). Brian McClave from Site Eye filmed a beautiful time-lapse night sky with shooting stars and moons and unknown magic. Carlos Frenk another Professor of Cosmology from Durham University inspired me with his humanity and his YouTube videos (Elva is a great fan of Carlos Frenk, do you know him?).
I have some actor friends from Durham, who shared their experience of alien sightings. I found a clever child bold enough to question Carlos Frenk and I recorded them all. I spent some time in consultation about how space would smell. How do you think space smells?
Then musician Jennifer Hardy made some truly beautiful music, found some fabulous sounds and we mixed the whole lot up.
If you come to the Gala Theatre Studio on Saturday morning, Elva will be there for a space adventure. She’s grown very fond of Durham.