Yesterday was the Royal Charter Event at my college. It's been sixty years since the Queen visited St Anne's and transformed it into a full college of the university.
Oxford is split into thirty-nine colleges, each of which has its own governing body and funding. St Anne's College is a fairly little-known establishment, located in north Oxford (or Mordor, as I like to call it). Sometimes tour bus announcers will sail right past our modest cluster of buildings without mentioning them, possibly because we have no "dreaming spires". We do, however, have a vibrant student population.
St Anne's was established in 1879 as a place where young women could be educated at Oxford. Back then it was known as the Society of Oxford Home-Students. I had a chat with some alumni at lunch, most of whom attended the college during the forties and sixties. One lady told me that when she was a student, many lectures – mainly for the sciences – were labelled "for men only". On one occasion, she said, only women turned up to a lecture. The lecturer walked into the room, said "I see there is no-one to whom I can lecture", and walked right back out again! Despite all that, St Anne's was established as a women's-only college in 1952. Since then it's become co-ed; it's now one of the biggest colleges in the university, with the second-largest library. Very good for me.
I'm very proud to be a member of St Anne's. Even if it doesn't have the rich history of many of the other colleges here, it has fought long and hard to be where it is now.
Back to The Bone Season. I've done about four pages of edits. Last night I was making a few tweaks to the introduction of Jaxon Hall, my narrator's employer. Jaxon has been with me since the beginning; he was one of the 'core characters' that lasted from the start of The Bone Season to the end. He was never renamed, cut or added: he was always just there. I had so much fun adding the intro scene, my 'early night' idea went straight out of the window. In retrospect it was a slightly overambitious plan, considering my current workload. I think I hit the pillow at about 3:30AM, riddled with caffeine. Still, it was worth it. Jaxon is an enormously fun character to write. Possibly my favourite character in the series.
I've spotted people betting on a possible love triangle between Paige, Jaxon and Warden, as the name 'Jaxon Hall' apparently has a bit of a bad boy vibe. No comment on the exact relationships in the novel, but I've never been too hot on love triangles.
I'll leave you with a recording of me on Sunrise, floating in front of the London Eye. And no, I'll admit it: my elaborate wavy hair in the last interview was not my natural hairstyle.