It’s that magical time of year again- autumn, children back to school, apples hanging heavy on the trees, mists in the morning that don’t clear off until ten. For me it’s also the most inspiring time of year, something in autumn’s landscape always speaks to my writer’s soul more clearly than the other seasons. It’s the change in the light, the depth of the sky, and all the changing colours in the woods- the ambers, scarlets, browns, golds, the silver beading on an abandoned spiderweb, the soft decay of reeds in a pond.
This time last year, I was finishing a book, now I’m starting in earnest on a new one. Which means I will strive to make my quota of two pages every single day. It’s always intimidating, this beginning of a book. I don’t know a writer that doesn’t question if they can do it again, pull off what seems impossible when all you have is notes and random snippets and other than a historical framework, no exact notion of how this story turns out. I’m only fifty pages along and this new book has already thrown me a few curveballs- ones I’m not certain I’m happy about.
Beginning a book though is exciting, all roads are open, and I don’t know where the various pathways will take me or what mad adventure the characters might decide to embark upon. I love all the little details that come into play, so that I get to know each character a little better with each chapter in each book. I love the strange little factoids that always come my way during the research process, things that become small vignettes in the books, or even just a thread of crimson in the overall tapestry of the story.
What I do know about this book is that most of it will take place in Ireland, unlike the last one which was divided between Ireland and Russia. There will be storylines set in the US too, those are already in development. I know one section takes place in Venice as well. Hmm, I wonder if I might have to make another research trip? 🙂 I’m excited to be back in Ireland, in my mind leastwise. There are times that the imagining part of writing is so immersive that I forget where I am, which is a wee bit dicey when I’m out and about walking. I see every book in terms of an element- not sure why, that’s just how I see them in my head. Exit Unicorns was earth, Mermaid in a Bowl of Tears was clearly, water. Flights of Angels was the air book and In the Country of Shadows is going to be fire, it will be interesting to see what that actually means in terms of the writing itself.
Strangely, I have finished the writing of every book in November. I don’t plan it, but it just seems to work out that way. So here I sit wondering what I will have on my hands three years from this November- yes, that’s the goal, to be done in the fall of 2015. My battered copy of J. Bowyer Bell’s The Irish Troubles sits at my right hand still filled with stickies from the last book’s research. And so the adventure begins.
For those of you who read the blog but don’t visit my FB page- my latest novel Flights of Angels won a Global e-book award for Best Historical Fiction. I didn’t realize how much I wanted the book to win until I was watching the webcast with my heart racing as my category came up. It was nice to have the acknowledgement, I must say.