In 2005 I was awarded a writing grant from Creative NZ and the 2006 Children's Writer in Residence at Dunedin's College of Education to complete a YA novel entitled G-Force about three girls who meet at a hotel in Hawaii. Each girl is from a different country but are there, under protest, with their fathers. And then I blow them up.
It was a fun story to write and I love the characters and, though I completed it in 2006, it's undergone some rewriting. Then I shelved it when a publisher turned it down and the idea for the Banquo's Son trilogy came along.
I'm in the final throes of finishing the rewrites to Birthright but I 'met up' with my other book (G-Force) a couple of months back and I keep running away to 'catch up' (which is author speak for opening the file and reading bits and fiddling here and there and sharing parts to members of the family and students in my writing tutorials). The adrenaline of first love still lingers and I feel really sad that I neglected that book for so long while I was enamored with Fleance and Rosie and Rachel.
But, just like a good friend, time does not diminish quality. I did promise one of my publishers that I will give this book its due attention, spruce it up and present it to her before the end of the year and I do like to keep my promises. It's something I'm looking forward to and I believe the things I have learned while writing the trilogy will only make me a better (re) writer when tweaking it.
It takes real will-power to stay faithful to a story which has had its ups and downs - distractions via family demands and work commitments; the need to re-write and then re-write again (books 2 and 3). I could continue to wring the life out of the 'writing a novel is like a marriage' metaphor but I won't. I will leave that to your imagination.
I have had to give myself a good talking to and tell G-Force that I cannot meet for another few weeks. By then, the re-writes will be done my end, they will go back to the fantastic Katie and I will take a break from Scotland (and take a holiday to Hawaii with my three (fictional) teenagers) before plunging back into 11th C with the next lot of edits in the September/October school holidays.
There: I've made a public renewing of my vows to the Banquo's Son Trilogy. Back to finish the very last section: it's a Rosie kicking butt scene - very cool.