Two friends from up north have emailed me to say that they heard me interviewed on the CBC last Saturday. This wasn’t a real interview, but “Proustian” questions posed to a number of writers. What I’m curious to know is if they used the question: “Who is your favourite literary character?” Because my answer was ? ta da! ? Winnie the Pooh.

And really, who doesn’t love Winnie?

I’m heavy into research again. Before I construct a plot around a Black Mass, I have to decide if it likely happened—and if so, when … and where. This first entailed re-visiting the best book on the subject, and then, of course (because I have to see for myself), wading into the archives of the Bastille to view to trial accounts first-hand. These archives are now downloadable and on my computer: the Net is so amazing. What it means is that I can read the word-for-word transcripts of trials that took place in 1680.

But it’s ugly stuff—certainly not a Winnie-the-Pooh world—and all the accounts differ. What a cast of characters, though, charlatans in every shape and size. I’m with Winnie on this: puzzled as all get-out.