Okay, I’m the first to admit that I’m not very good at doing nothing. The in-between-novels stage is never a period that I find particularly satisfying, no matter how much other stuff I try to cram into it. The need to create is fundamental to who I am, I suppose, and even though it is less than a week since I finished the edit on Children of the Resolution, I’m already getting “twitchy”.
So I’ve started researching proper We Are Watching — watching endless YouTube videos on remote viewing and visiting fascinating sites like this on RAF Fylingdales. Regarding the latter, I’m actually quite surprised by just how much information on the base is available. Granted, the Cold War is well and truly over, but looking at it from the road as we drove by last Wednesday, it looks peculiarly vulnerable sitting out there on Snod Hill.
I know, however, that Fylingdales is going to feature heavily in one of the principal scenes, at least, of We Are Watching. It’s a simple scene involving a group of friends, much alcohol and, as I have hinted elsewhere, a remote viewing exercise — which they attempt in much the same way as many of us have probably messed about with Ouija boards at one time or another. It’s not a serious exercise. It’s just a bit of fun.
Or that’s what they think!
Well, today I reached the point in my novel where I had to, reluctantly, let the character of Johnny — the fictional representation of my childhood friend, GS — die. I expected it to be difficult, whatever I may have said in previous blog posts, but in the end it just happened, much as it did in real life, off-stage and oddly veiled.
I’d thought of tampering with the circumstances — solidly putting the “semi” in the phrase “semi-autobiographical” — and having Johnny die centre-stage, clutching his bosom, so to speak, where my narrator (yes, okay, where I) could see him, but that struck me as crass and intrusive. GS wouldn’t have objected, I’m fairly sure. He liked a bit of drama, and often went out of his way to create it. But I think the off-stage choice is the right one. There’s a dignity about it that I feel is right. Whatever else it might be, I can only be pleased with that, at least.
In other news… I’m taking tomorrow off, and heading out I don’t know where. Possibly onto the moors again — see if I can find out anything more about Austin Wright. I can’t help wondering, Why Fylingdales? What’s he, an ex-remote-viewer, doing out there? It has to be significant.
If you see me on the news tomorrow evening being detained by sweaty military types, you’ll know I’ve got a little carried away with my research 😉
I always find the North York Moors an inspirational place to be. It’s somewhere that always leaves me feeling uncluttered and open to possibility. Today, whilst out near RAF Fylingdales, this was especially true — for ’twas there I “found” the first glinting traces of my next novel, tentatively titled, We Are Watching.
Let me introduce you to Austin Wright. Austin is a quiet guy. Quiet and solitary. He spends time, too much of it, out on the moor… remembering… remembering the night ten years before when his wife disappeared, three days after a remote viewing experiment in which the two of them had taken part… remembering and putting together the pieces… putting together the pieces and planning…
Thematically, I want to touch on faith (Austin never wavers in is belief that his wife was “abducted”) — using stylistic motifs borrowed from thriller and conspiracy-based fiction, whilst keeping it, in effect, a “literary” novel. I have a healthy respect for genre fiction, but that’s not what I’m good at; We Are Watching will at heart be an exploration of the relationship Austin shares with his “abducted” wife, but with a plot that moves, twists, doubles back on itself and (I hope) surprises.
Now, please excuse me while I go finish Children of the Resolution 🙂