Monday, March 16, 2009

Getting Back in the Saddle

It's March? Already? No, that can't be right.

You know, late summer should conjure up images of lazy, balmy afternoons, long twilights and languorous hours spent reading trashy magazines or watching even trashier TV. Unfortunately, I can't say this has characterised my experience of recent months. Returning to work after Christmas break has been like jumping into freezing cold water (the type that makes one's brain hurt).

Last year, I would spend my lunchtimes sitting in the gardens across the road reading over the manuscript of What Lies Beneath. It was a nice way to spend sixty minutes. This year, my lunch breaks have been occupied with far more prosaic pursuits.

What significance does this hold for anyone reading this blog? Basically, it means that Akin to Pity (the sequel to What Lies Beneath) will be in print slightly later than I had hoped. I'm looking at May now unfortunately. It's a reality of the amateur writer I guess - doing the stuff that pays the bills must come first.

However, it's not all gloom and doom. Over recent days I have been re-reading the manuscript of Akin to Pity and I'm finding that I'm not making a lot of corrections. I'm already up to page 75, trotting along at a pretty good pace, so it might not take that long after all. What's more important is that I'm actually enjoying what I'm reading. The three months I have spent separated from the Caliban's End saga have not made reading the second book any harder, which bodes well for other readers methinks.

It's probably worth mentioning here the reaction I've had to the first book. As readers of this blog would know, I've been a little nervous that the book may have been too inaccessible and demanding for most readers but the feedback I've received has been to the contrary. Most readers have enjoyed the complexity, even revelled in it. I think I was slightly disheartened by a few comments I received early on - before the book officially went to print - that suggested the narrative was too dense, and I've been apologising for it ever since. Now about thirty people have read the book from start to finish, I'm realising that the challenges the book puts before the reader are pretty much what some people want in their reading.

What has also astounded me is how supportive most people have been about it. The one thing most people seem to be short on is time, which has made it incredibly satisfying to know that there are people who have spent their moments of leisure reading my book. What's even more fulfilling is the extra time they have taken in giving me feedback and asking questions born out of a desire to know what happens next. I've been blown away by the hypotheses some people have had. I don't want to spoil things for them suffice to say there are things in the sequel that may surprise my readers (but hopefully satisfy them too).

Since finishing What Lies Beneath I've played around with the idea of taking the books to publishers or even writing a screenplay of it, but I'm in no hurry. I'll spend the next month or two getting Akin to Pity ready for print and then see what happens from there. It's been good to have a little break from it, but now I'm back in the saddle, I'm keen to dig the spurs into the snorse and get moving again.

No comments:

Post a Comment