Sunday, September 12, 2010

A writer's dilemma: where to next?

Fleur Beale told me recently that, though she was supposed to be working on the third book in her Juno series, she had be kidnapped by another grunty, contemporary story. Grabbed as in: she has been up and down the Wellington surrounds doing research.

Having just finish Fierce September, Book Two of the Juno series, it makes me nervous that her attention is somewhat waylaid. Still, I know I don't need to panic cos Fleur, being the consummate professional that she is, will deliver.

But, it got me thinking: there is a particular story which is acting like Donkey in the first Shrek movie: Pick me Pick me Pick me.

This story is what I affectingly call my Mermaid story. In 2007, I gave the a section of the first chapter to the English dept to use for their end of year examination. Those kids (Y9/13-4 year olds) were so taken by the extract, a number of them came up to me to ask when the book would be published.

I have been asked the same question for the past three years. Just this Friday, a wee lass, now in Y11 (15 years old) said: when you write your mermaid book, you better put our names in the acknowledgments

I asked her why. Because it's going to be such a great story and we want the world to know that we saw it first.

This sounds so familiar. ie When I mooted the idea of Banquo's Son, I had a keen group of readers who became so enthralled with the idea of the story.

So. I have a contract and an emotional obligation to spend time writing Birthright. But, I have this wee story (it's scope makes me see it is as a baby) which is crying crying, crying...

Maybe I need to write the 'mermaid story' and get it out of my system before I turn my attentions fully on Birthright. Book Three of the trilogy (120,000 words) vs wee middle grade book (15-20 thousand words).

pfff. I should be able to knock that off in a couple of weeks, don't you think?

Here's the opening few paragraphs:
What would you do if you found a real mermaid? Would you call the police? The T.V. station? Would you suggest poking it in the eye with a stick? (That was Robbie’s idea – not mine).

Well, this is what we did. We took her home. And, we knew pretty quickly it was a ‘she’ not a ‘he’ or an ‘it’ because, unlike those Disney cartoons, mermaids don’t have scales and they don’t wear cute little shell bras. Mermaids let it all hang out.

There's plenty more and it's very exciting. Malcolm, the narrator, is an interesting kid - he only has one leg and he's Ngati Porou (like me though, to date, I've never been to Gisborne but I still have all my limbs).

And, I don't know why Malcolm has a prosthetic.

Yeah this post is prob outside the Trilogy boundaries but I'm thinking, after sorting and cleaning out my writer's study, maybe I need to finish this wee gem before I throw myself into the writing to Birthright.


Im said...

When is the next Juno book coming out? The first one was one of my favorite books!!!!!!!! And of course the mermaid book is another one :)

TK Roxborogh said...

Imogen, Fierce September is out now