Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Back on the merry-go-round

I still have a book to polish up for publication by Del Rey UK, and I'm very grateful for that. But those books are written and I need to look forward to a new deal somewhere. I feel as if I'm back where I started but with a bit more to put in my writing CV. 

So a book I wrote several years ago will (hopefully) be landing in editors' inboxes at some point, courtesy of my new agent Jane. It only takes one of them to like it, I suppose, but the closer I get to a draft the less confident I become. I'm so familiar with the characters now they seem commonplace and ordinary. So I've spent some time looking through A Baby's Bones again and falling in love with my two principal characters again. 

It's also helped me with the sequel, because I am crawling through the contemporary strand incredibly slowly, barely making 3000 to 4000 words a week. (Note to self - check which box I packed my writing mojo in). It's growing, but I think I'm too distracted with other stuff (losing my mother-in-law, illness, settling into the house) to come up with story. As soon as a moment of plot suggests itself I'm off for a chapter or two - then stagnation again. It will all come together, it always does. Meanwhile I'm still playing with my ghost story. 

Meanwhile, one of my sons is studying archaeology at the University of Southampton, and I am JEALOUS. The more I read, the more fascinating the subject becomes. I'm looking forward to him coming home for Easter to see what his course has shown him - something will spark for the book, I'm sure. He was a fan of ABB and that's a good reason to get on with ABB 2. Love you, Isaac!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The merest suggestion of Spring

I have just realised I write books and set them in the present season. Books get written in spring or autumn because that tends to be when I start a new book. But just to make life difficult, I have set the contemporary strand of A Baby's Bones 2 in the autumn, but unconsciously I am filling the story with daffodils and late snow showers which I can see from the window. Not as obviously as that, of course, but somehow it's creeping in. Reading it back it stands out, and worse than that, I set the historical strand in the spring too, so it would be confusing to switch backwards and forwards. But I did the same for ABB 1, setting the contemporary story in March and April, and the historical strand from August to Christmas. I seemed to get away with that, and I enjoyed writing it, swapping from one to the other. This time it just doesn't seem to work, I'm getting confused. I'm getting my March and October mixed up.

In other news, I'm about to start rewriting and tidying up book 3. I think it's the best of the three Secrets books, I'm learning as I go. But in many ways it's the biggest of the three with the biggest breadth. I suspect it will need a lot more work, and I still don't have a title for it! ARGH! I'm rubbish at titles.

Having been a bit under the weather for the last few months it's nice to be feeling better, almost as the spring unfolds. Maybe that's why it's sneaking into ABB 2. There's a bit of me in all my characters so I suppose it's natural to identify with the characters, but I really do feel closest to Sage, my archaeologist character. Writing her conflict between being a wife and mother and being a professional archaeologist reflects some conflicts in me. I've been the mother of at least one child since 1984, that's officially forever, and today our youngest turned 16. I no longer have a 'child', even if she's still dependant on us she's already looking out at the world. Five years ago I would have said that was a painful thing, but after a lot of grieving as they all moved on or out, I've started to speculate what life on the other side is like. Will I have to take up golf and/or flower arranging? Because all I want to do is catch up on some of the things I missed having my children young. I think it's time to misbehave and shock the 'children'. Maybe Sage can let her hair down too.