Monday, 16 November 2015
I haven't posted anything for a while, so I thought I'd better put that right. I have a new novel coming out on Tuesday the 24th, Sad's Place. It should have been out in the summer, but I was unhappy with the ending - it needed something else, but at the time, I was too close to it and couldn't think of what that 'something else' might be. So I put it away, thinking, in the meantime, that I would write a short story, perhaps the 2nd part of Africar. But I wasn't sure I wanted to do a 2nd part to Africar ( still don't ), even though I know how it goes. So I started another short story, or what was supposed to be a short story, but it ended up being 72,000 words long. Not exactly a short story then. Another novel. Furthermore, I could publish it now, if I wanted to, but I'll wait until the early part of next year. It was easy to write, too, a little too easy, and I began to wonder about that. I came to the conclusion that I hadn't given a shit while I'd been writing it. I'd written it so that I could give Sad's Place, and myself, a little breathing space, and that was all. But what came out of it was something, I realised, that I'd written purely for myself, with no concern for what others might think. To date, no one else has read it, so soon, I will ask my wifely one if maybe she would like to read it, and if she does, and if she then tells me it's the biggest piece of crap I've ever written, then I'll laugh, honestly, I will, and I will say, "Oh well, easy come, easy go."
But the things is, it isn't a piece of crap...not to me it isn't, anyhow. Also, it has sent me off in another direction with my work, to places that perhaps I had always wanted to go but stayed away from, but not anymore. Now I will go to those places. Always. I have started a new phase, and I couldn't be happier.
And Sad's Place? Well, I finally came up with the ending I wanted, and I love it. It's sad, yes, as the book's title suggests, but sad is the way it should be...
1966. For the past five years, Ewan Redstone has bullied and neglected his youngest son, Tommy. There seems to be no way out for Tommy, or for Cale, Tommy's older brother. Then one day Cale finds his father trapped under a pile of wood. He will die under there if Cale doesn't get help. But never mind help. In a moment of dark clarity, Cale ends his father's life, and at last he and Tommy are free. Then Cale makes a shocking discovery. He finds his mother’s dead body buried in an old stable at the back of their house. It seems she didn’t leave home after all, that Cale's father must have killed her. Now Cale must keep this secret from Tommy. But with their father dead, secrets become hard to keep from a boy who wants his mother back…and who will do anything to find her. And now Cale understands why the girl in the orange dress removed the I and the E from the stable door, so that instead of the letters spelling Sadie's Place, they spell Sad's Place. Yes, Cale understands, all right. Sad's Place. It all begins to make a perfect, terrible sense.
So now it looks like I'll have two novels that will be released fairly close together: Sad's Place on 24th November and The Reason I'm Still Here around March/April 2016...
A strange message appears on Wes Churchill's old TV. He is told to tape the message and then broadcast it to the rest of the world. The trouble is, Wes had a nervous breakdown five years ago and he is uncertain if the message is genuine, or if maybe he has had another breakdown. While he decides what to do, Wes looks back at his past, to a time when he smashed up his wife's car, to how his eldest daughter saved him from taking his own life, to how he came across a little dog in the woods. Seen through Wes's eyes, The Reason I'm Still Here is a story of how people, once lost, can be found again, and how love can come back into your life in the most unusual of ways. And murder. How that can come back, too.
Well, that's it from me. Take care.