That’s the working tagline of the book, by the way, not just me trying to make a point.
So, last night I finished (what I hope) is the last round of structural edits. I introduced a new character, fundamentally changed an existing one and altered the ending. Like you do. But now, finally, I think it all hangs together. Without giving too much away, it’s the first part of a dual-narrator dystopian trilogy that explores the life you’re born into, versus the life you live. How much of who we are is decided by genetics, upbringing, choices that are made for us and, the weather. The one thing no-one can depend upon.
Which got me to thinking – how much of any of what we know can we depend upon? Nothing is fixed, everything is transitory. Change is everywhere. Sure, there are people who have always been there but were they always the same? Will they always be the same? Then all of that got a bit too intangible so I had a beer.
The two most exciting things about writing this book (aside from clinching the publishing contract) were
a) seeing the cover for the first time (and it is mighty fine, my friends, mighty fine) When we’ve fixed a publication date there will be a media reveal. #iamsoexcited and
b) writing the acknowledgements page. That, for me, really felt like the end of the book and the start of something new. I had to think about all the people that had supported, loved, cared for and listened to me and name them all. Well, not all, otherwise the book would have been twice as long. But thinking about the whole journey of the book made me more than sentimental. In the end, I decided to make an overall dedication to the person that inspired elements of one of the main characters, Alice. That person doesn’t know it yet but they’re going to be somewhat shocked, potentially.
Anyway, the point of endings is that they are almost always followed by the beginning. When the book is finally out of my hands and into the world, I think a part of me will be terrified of what people will think of it, and a part of me will be bereft at the loss of control and a part of me will be excited to start something new. Book two, presumably as it’s part of a trilogy. And possibly something else…
The point is, writing emulates life. It’s a bumpy, exciting, disappointing, strenuous, exhilarating journey. Except when you’re writing you invent the people you meet along the way and have them be exactly what you want them to be most of the time. Except, for me, Alice wasn’t like that. She was herself, even when I wanted her to be something different. There’s a moral in there somewhere, I’m sure.
So, the short answer to the ‘When can I read it?’ is – it looks like we could be on for publication in June.
In other news, the short story Scotch & Sundays will be appearing in Prole Magazine in April and, much further down the line, I will be appearing at Alderney Literature Festival in 2015. I will also be still working my ass off at my day job as a Programme Manager until the day comes where I quit Change Management for a better life.
But, right now, whether it’s the start or the end, no life is better than one where you love what you’re doing. And, right now, I do. #amnolongerediting