I’ve started another book this year, this time YA, but still SF. One of the things that stuck in my mind from last years helping out with the Summer Reading Challenge is just how much some of the younger readers loved the books they read – and what it was they liked about them.
It would be great, I hoped, if I could inspire that joy through a book.
2017 started off with a bang. I haven’t blogged on this site for a month or two, mainly because I’ve been busy on my other blog focused on the game Beyond the Gates of Antares as well as writing loads of articles. It hasn’t helped, of course, that I was tidying up another book following first reader feedback, finishing Shards in Exile (published sometime this year, hopefully), writing some short stories and also putting together a proposal for another project – for which the signs are hopeful!
That’s three novels finished in 2016, plus loads of articles, plus completing my MA. It’s an encouraging achievement.
I was asked recently how I felt about writing having just finished a novel. I was asked whether I had lost focus? Whether getting the novel out meant I wasn’t focused on writing as much? The immediate answer was a no: why would I? Then puzzlement set in…
I’ve mentioned before that I quite like the redrafting/editting process. Taking a rather scrappy first draft and forging it into something worth reading is really satisfying, probably more so than finishing that very first draft. What I didn’t quite expect, though, is that in rebuilding some of the rubbish, simple changes cascade through and make quite quite profound changes.
It’s happened again: I’ve had to write the ending – the last scene or chapter – before I get there. Whilst I loosely plan out what’s needed, often rough out chapters and sections and use the Mythic Structure as an overall meta-structure, I occasionally write scenes out of sync with the rest of the flow. That’s fine – for me, it works. But I’m regularly writing the last scene way before I get there.
Whilst the two books are not yet linked on Amazon, The Honey Killer is now also available in paperback.
It portrays the growth of an ‘moral’ assassin from a young lad in 1939 to a grown man in flashbacks from his life in 1984 – when his life and career appears to be coming to an end. The scorn of his father, throughout his younger years, he seems to have no options but to kill to protect himself, his brother or his ailing mother as, one by one, his guardian ‘Angels’ ar etaken from him. Amongst his many tools of the trade is honey – known to the Greeks – and a copy of a herbal he is given to read as a boy.
As he chases, then is chased, around Europe the assassin finally returns to the place in which much of the book is set: rural England, the central south, particularly the beautiful garden he built for his mother (and himself) in Collingbourne Regis and the care home he bought for his mother in Snoddington Beeches. When all seems lost, he comes to a reconciliation with the person who hates him the most, and rediscovers an Angel who has been there all the time…
The book arose from a Fiction module I took on my MA, though is heavily altered from what was submitted/ First readers and proof readers loved it, stating they had to ‘go back and start all over again to actually proof it as I got caught up in the story’. Wonderful feedback!
Hope you enjoy.