What Am I Working On? Question #2 on the Writers' Blog Tour
I explained in an earlier post what the Writers’ Blog Tour is about. Basically, writers answer the same four questions:
What am I working on?
How does my work differ from other work in its genre?
How does my writing process work?
For today, I’ll tackle the second question:
What am I working on?
At the moment I’m working on a few things.
My novel, Against A Darkening Sky, will be out with HarperCollins Canada and ChiZine Publication (US) in April 2015, and so I’m fiddling around with the last bits of that. All the major editorial work has been done, but there are always last minute things, and the cover and publicity and so forth. It’s an exciting phase, and at the same time utterly psychosis-inducing, while one waits. . . the book is set in 7th century Northumbria and is the story of Wilona, a seeress and healer whose life and way of being in the world are threatened by the coming of Christianity; and Egan, a young monk from Eire whose visions may have brought him to Christ, but whose experience of the sacred puts him at odds with the Roman church. It’s full of magic and mystery, and explores what happens when one’s experience and beliefs clash with those of the people in power. It was great fun to research, and involve a trip to England that My Best Beloved refers to as The Angle-Saxon Forced March Northwards. You can read a little bit about it here and here and here and here. Hard to believe it’s really been six years since that trip. Books take a long time to write.
I’m also completing a third draft of another novel, called (for the moment) The Grimoire. This one’s inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen as well as the deaths of my brothers (they both committed suicide, which I’ve written about here.) I can’t say much more about it just yet, as I haven’t handed it off to my agent. But I will say that it involves a woman who is the guardian of a bookstore no one goes into unless they are fated to do so and the name of the bookshop is The Grimoire. I suspect this mirrors my belief that readers find the stories they’re meant to find.
I’m also making preliminary notes on another novel, about which I cannot speak. It’s quite dangerous, I find, to talk about a novel until at least the first draft is out. If I talk about it, it diffuses the energy of the words on the page. I’ve watched in horror as a a book or two slipped through my careless fingers this way.
On top of that, I’m working on two short stories. I can’t talk about them at all, since they are still so unformed. I just got back from the 13th Annual International Short Story Conference in English (the longest name in conferences), and I have a head full of stories all pushing and shoving and trying to get out.
And so, as always, busy, busy, which is good. I need to write every day and if I don’t have material, I’m not fit to live with. Just ask My Best Beloved!
Lauren, how fascinating. The variety of subjects and themes you write about is amazing. I can’t wait to read Against A Darkening Sky.
I’ve read one of your short story collections – Rat Medicine – and loved it. It sounds like you’re energized to write more short stories. I’ve not heard about the short story conference you mention.
Keep on writing. Jane V
PS; look forward to your answers to the next two questions.
Thanks, Jane. I appreciate your comment. And yes, the Short Story Conference was wonderful. There’s an anthology of short stories from writers involved in the conference, called UNBRAIDING THE SHORT STORY, edited by Maurice A Less. You can find it on Amazon . . . http://www.amazon.com/Unbraiding-short-story-Maurice-Lee/dp/1497593999 There’s some great work in there, including a new story from yours truly. Cheers!
Amazing photos! The landscape and Anglo Saxon objects in the photos are evocative, can’t wait to read your 7th Century novel, so I’ll mark my calendar for April 2015.
Thanks so much, Fred. If you read AGAINST A DARKENING SKY, let me know if you like it, won’t you?