Sunday, March 29, 2009

the title of the second in the trilogy

I think it's going to be Blood Lines. I think all of the connotations/denotations of the phrase (though I do not like the whole vampire/blood connection thing).

It's about passing on our issues through our family to the next generation; it's about connections; it's about geneology; it's about the power of loyalty and promises.

In Christchurch this weekend, I attempted to carry on a starting chapter but stopped because I have not got the emotional energy nor the time these next few weeks to dedicate to throwing myself back into Scotland.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

the gaps in between

So, what does one do once one has sent off the final tome and then needs to consider the sequel?

Firstly: handing over the final manuscript is like handing over a baby - with the connotations that might bring up. Like when my husband and I discussed whether to have another child, the conversations were filled with embedded angst. Could I do justice to another? Would I love it as much? What if it disappointed?

Well, we've had two kids and we love them both so much and love their differences and similarities - the problems they cause us (though, at the time, we don't feel the love).

Now, I am pregnant with the second book - I know her sex (continuing with the metaphor, I've had the scan and I know the scope). The question is: do I have the energy to go through the pregnancy (the growth of the baby) and the birth?

I remember when my first born was inside me and I'd gone to the ante-natal class and was taught about the awful stage. I was utterly convinced that if I didn't want it to happen, i.e. give birth, it wouldn't. I said this as I waddled, heavily pregnant down the hospital corridor. I was so naive.

The truth is, if a story (or life) is conceived, someone must bring it to life.

For Banquo's Son, the story has expanded past one book and now runs to three.

I'm thrilled with this because I think these characters deserve such attention.

I just wish I was not 'hindered' by having to make a living being a teacher (though I love this so much) as well as juggling being a mummy.

Thankfully, I have a whole year to write the next book rather than the three months I did.

I miss Fleance and Rosie and Rachel. I look forward to meeting them again when the term times allow.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

update and the importance of dates

Sorry that not a lot has been happening on the site. My publisher and I have finished the last tweaks and I have to say: I’m very, very pleased with the final product. I went through the whole book (with the northern hemisphere seasons and months in front of me) and checked that it wasn't endless winter or endless summer for our dear Fleance. I also had to work out birthdays: Fleance was born June 22nd 1032; Duncan also born 1032; Rachel, 1034 and Rosie Sept 1035.

When I was first given this story (in a dream), I had thought the action would take place in less than a year. But, as I wrote it, I thought maybe there was too much going on and it would have to span a couple of years. Yet, the whole thing is only about eight months - poor Fleance! He has to cope with a lot in that time: love, loss, attacks, disappointment, decisions, battles, death and love again. Blame Fleur *grin* because, at the start, she kept reminding me to be mean.

Re-reading the manuscript brought lots of emotion: there were the lovely moments when I forgot that I’d actually written the book and went to myself: that is so cool. Or, I read a piece, like on Wednesday, and looked up and said to Penny, ‘Calum is such a creep!’ Penny grinned and we had an interesting conversation about what we are going to do with him.

As you know, I agonised over the battles scenes (and had some great constructive criticism from Annie W) so it was with delight that a new reader of the manuscript said: those battle scenes - wow! so exciting. I actually hate blood and guts and hurt and sadness yet they all appear often in my works.

To show you what I mean, let me illustrate: yesterday (Sat), I spent in a shearing shed north of Dunedin helping out a member of our church who runs a shearing gang. I’d helped him out a couple of weekends ago and did so again. It was hard work and hard seeing the sheep cut many times by the blades. I had been, in my youth, fortunate enough to work with gangs who were professional shearers (i.e. participated in shearing competitions which meant a cut sheep did not count for the total) so it was a shock to see some of the injuries these poor creatures endured. There was even one who had a prolapsed uterus (this means her WHOLE uterus has come out) but the shearing went on never-the-less. And, another, who had part of her back rotted through past injury? shearing injury? so that I had to take the whole section of wool and dump it.

I’ve included this detail in the blog because, despite my gruesome descriptions of battle, I actually hate blood-shed. That’s why movies like ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Atonement’, ‘Band of Brothers’, ‘Schindler’s List’, ‘Platoon’ I tried to avoid. I’m sorry to say, I’ve seen them all (after putting off the viewing for many years). Why? Because man's inhumanity to man grieves my heart. Great movies; great stories. But.

Anyway, I’ve just to send a copy of the map of ancient Scotland and England to Penguin and then await the page proofs. If I hadn’t written this story, I would say to everyone, this is an amazing story – up there with Harry Potter, Eragon, Twilight, Maximum Ride – all of them great stories. So, because I’ve penned it, I guess I can’t say it is so (but others are – he he).

I'm now writing the second book (in the trilogy). Hate what I'd proposed for the title. Will need to work on that.

Anyway, only a couple of months before the book lands in your hands. Can't wait.

Friday, March 6, 2009

this is my suggestion for the title of the second volume

Blood Will Have Blood. (We could just call it Blood) but the verb in the quote says a lot.

It's from The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Here's the whole quote:

Macbeth: It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood:
Stones have been known to move and trees to speak;

He's just seen Banquo's ghost and realises that if you do something there are consequences. Book two deals with consequence.

In other words, I've tried to fix stuff, but, it seems, I'm (ie Macbeth is) upsetting the natural order of things - (audience says: you think?)

All my characters are now working through the decisions they've made.

I'm happy with the suggestion of the title so now I will go forth.

Monday, March 2, 2009

a reminder about sensitive information

Sorry guys, had to delete the last post as it gave too much away about the first book.By all means come to my classroom to tell me your thoughts. We will have another meeting in a few weeks to work on the title of the next book.