Science Fiction novel (hardcover - pre-order) Available after December 14, 2018
First SF novel I’ve written comes out within two weeks.
This is something I always wanted to do. I wanted to write books in my 20’s – but I was too flaky; in my 30’s I forgot about writing and pursued other things; 40-50’s I had a go at writing a book about space vampires. It wasn’t that flash, and suddenly everyone was writing about vampires, space and otherwise. The manuscript of this material was exceptionally turgid and not very inspiring. Reason: I tried to write the way I thought other people did. What a massive flop that was, but I learned a valuable lesson – don’t do that.
Two years ago I thought I’d have another go with Mordred’s Coals. I wrote as I would, me, the writer. Sounds dumb that I wouldn’t have stumbled on this plan earlier, but I’m glad I didn’t. I wasn’t ready.
As I’m sure all writers’ find, when confronted with a blank page, flashing cursor, or just staring blankly into space, I struggled to make sentences work, characters speak naturally, and paragraphs look readable. I wrestled with it for a while thinking: how do writers do this? I pressed on. Eventually, I fell into a groove that I knew was my style. It wasn’t like anybody else’s, which I’m thankful for.
Mordred’s Coals only ever had a loose framework that I wasn’t particularly careful about staying within. I painted myself into corners with plot points but always managed to escape. Sometimes I just waited, trying not to force the problem – answers always turned up. The novel ran away a little, beyond 150k words. I knew I needed a denouement. Enough disparate parts of the story were floating around to tie off the ending satisfactorily.
I feel fortunate to have found an editor (Vanessa, Night Owl Freelance/ IndieOwlPress.com) who: believed it was a great story, thought my writing was good enough, and did a terrific job editing. Without her this novel would not have seen the light of a reader.
So, to anybody who feels the desire to write a novel – do it. Struggle along. Put pen to parchment, or a finger to an iPad.
I have another SF novel in her queue – Dark Orouboros – I hope that can be published early next year.
This is the craft I’ve always wanted to try but felt I wasn’t able enough. It’s a beautiful way to spend time: watching characters develop, plot points come out of left field, and be able entertain readers.