This year got off to a slightly confused start creatively. My next-to-be-published novel The Legacy of Lorna Lovelost had been completed towards the back end of the previous year, and after a pleasant, relaxing Christmas I got stuck into a long, involved outline for a novel I was wanting to write called Recalling Calloway Vaughan. The outline was completed after a couple of months—but it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. I stood back and looked at it from different angles, loved certain aspects, liked others, but still felt that something I couldn’t quite identify was missing (something I still haven’t put my finger on).
And so I set it aside and played with other ideas—and in so doing stumbled upon Juniper Faraday. Juniper was, I knew right away, an unusual lady. Convicted seven years before I “met” her of braining her husband to death with a ball pein hammer—never having pleaded her innocence or offered any kind of defence—it was immediately obvious that she had an unusual story to tell. And—lucky me!—it seemed that she wanted to tell it to me, through journalist/biographer Martin Blight.
I was a little concerned initially about this particular novel: The Legacy of Lorna Lovelost had been such a joy to write, one of the most moving and amusing writing experiences I’ve ever had, that I was worried I might not be able to follow it. It was immediately apparent that Juniper Faraday was going to be very different novel, though, and that the enjoyment would come from different places within the work.
After a month or two of outlining (the final sentences, unusually for me, actually came to me very early in the outline and have indeed made it into the first draft—and will, I’m sure, make it into the final, published book), I was ready to start. The novel opened on Henrietta Street in Whitby, looking out over the harbour, and a little over six months later (yesterday, to be exact) it finished in exactly the same location, though under very different circumstances, naturally. Promising to be my tightest, most stripped-down piece of work to date, it has an unexpectedly natural plot development. I very deliberately chose not to shoehorn it into a solidly “traditional” plot structure, wanting it to be, for want of a better, “organic” in its development. But I hadn’t quite expected it to quite have the “feel” it has; I tell the reader less, and in the process tell them even more. (I’ve always understood the power of implication and reader inference, but don’t think I’d realised just how far it could be taken; something I intend to explore even more in the second draft.)
So when can we read it? I hear you all eagerly asking (or maybe not). Well, not for a while, yet. At this stage I can only say it will be 2014 at the very earliest—though there is The Legacy of Lorna Lovelost to look forward to in October of next year and As Morning Shows the Day (a long novel I wrote in 2009) might seem light of day sometime soon, too. Possibly as a Kindle exclusive initially.
In the meantime … keep dropping by: early next year free chapters of The Legacy of Lorna Lovelost will be available through this website.
Read the free sample of The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts here.
Buy your copy of The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts now!
© 2012 Gary William Murning