I wrote a while ago about a couple of Patricia Highsmith's novels that I read, partly by default (stuck on holiday with a broken kindle, reading whatever was available) and then by choice. I was puzzled by the main characters in both The Blunderer and Strangers on a Train; I just couldn't believe that they would do what they did. That anyone would do what they did. All the time I was reading, I was screaming out in my head, 'You are insane. Go to the police!'
Last weekend, having just finished something on my kindle, I again found myself without any reading material. Disaster. I was at my sister's house for a firework party so I took the opportunity to have a good look through her bookshelves and helped myself (sorry, sis) to William Boyd's Ordinary Thunderstorms. Like any sane, normal and avid reader, I love William Boyd. His talent and ability shine out from every word he writes. (Although 2012's Waiting for Sunrise wasn't one of his best, IMO.) Ordinary Thunderstorms drew me in from the beginning, but now I'm a few chapters in and the protagonist's plight is worsening by the day, I am starting to feel the screaming voice rising up again. 'Hand yourself in! Whatever the consequences, it would be better than what you're going through now. Prison would be better that where you are now!'
We'll wait to see what happens. My prediction is that the terrible deed that's been committed by the people who are hunting the protagonist down has got something to do with experiments on children - unethical testing of drugs or similar. Ideas all my own; I haven't even read the blurb! Let's see if I'm right.
Regarding my own writing, I'm about to send the first three chapters of book 2 to my publisher. Normally, the beginning is the easy bit and it's the remaining 60,000+ words that are the problem, but with this book it's the other way round. Nobody has time to wait for a story to get going these days but some situations - in this case, the sudden and totally unexpected death of a young man and his wife's desolation afterwards - have to be fully laid bare before anything else can happen. I'll have to see what my publisher says before I know whether I've made it work or not. Fingers crossed.
And news on Garden of Stars - over 4,000 copies sold so far, which apparently is an impressive number for a debut novel. 37 Amazon reviews and 60+ ratings on Goodreads. I'm so happy that people are reading and loving. Thank you to all of you. And my oft-repeated plea - if you read, please review on Amazon - reviews are the life blood of a new writer.
See you next week, Rose x
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