Today I finished writing the first draft of my second novel, The Legacy of Kara Reyne. It’s a sequel to The Destiny of Ethan King and has consumed by life for a long time. I’ve loved getting to know these characters and their stories as they’ve unfolded on the computer screen in front of me. Now the interesting work begins: polishing the story and shaping it into a form acceptable for release into the big wide world.
Thank you to all those people who have supported me while I’ve been writing. You know who you are.
Update on the progress of my second novel, The Legacy of Kara Reyne.
I’m currently working on chapter 34 of the first draft of the book. I’ve written around 85,000 words and the story is now in its final act, climbing slowly up towards the climax like a rickety old steam train puffing its way up a steep hill.
Once the first draft is completed the scaffolding will be in place ready for the real work — the architecture of the novel — to take place. I’m looking forward to rewriting and already have a list of notes concerning things to go back and check, rewrite, add.
I feel like I’m working within a clearer structure with this second novel. The first one was not planned out at all until towards the end of the first draft and the rewrites ended up being very extensive. And that was fine for that story, but this being a sequel to the first with threads to tie up and a specific conclusion to be reached, I felt some initial planning was in order.
As anyone who’s ever made plans will have anticipated, however, surprises have popped up along the way. Whilst working on this first draft, new characters that I never would have dreamt up during the planning stage reared their heads and wedged themselves into the story. The same has happened with locations — some of the settings in the story were not planned out in advance and I feel the story has benefitted from that spontaneity.
In order to break up the (sometimes) tedious task of first draft writing, I have taken time out here and there to work on the cover for the book and also a promotional trailer video.
My current estimate of a publishing date for The Legacy of Kara Reyne is this coming summer, but that may change. I’ll keep you posted!
Thanks for your continued support and interest; it means a lot.
The Night Train
It haunts the tracks, that train. With its plumes of thick, ash-filled smoke and its trail of passenger carriages.
It only runs at night, that train. It flies through the countryside, all grey and silent and empty.
There are no passengers aboard this locomotive, but that is for the best as no engineer has been sighted either.
It’s hard to be sure though, as folk have only ever glimpsed it through sideways glances as it slips through the mist of the valleys and slices through the darkness of the night.
Its nicotine yellow lights cast an eerie glow across the countryside as the train makes its way from where it has come from to where it is headed.
Some say it chugs and squeaks along those old railways tracks. Some claim to hear spine-chilling wails as if the Devil himself travels within. Still others swear it passes as silently as the night herself.
But all agree that one cannot look directly at the night train without the vision evaporating as fast as a nightmare upon waking.
You see, the night train, with its billowing smoke and endless, abandoned carriages, only exists in that World of the Corner of One’s Eye. That fleeting place where dimensions bleed into one another just enough for us to notice the shadows flit across our own world.
Just enough to make our hearts beat harder in our chests and our palms grow moist and the flesh on our arms prickle.
And as the sun rises, the shadows vanish, the train returns from whence it came and the normal rules apply once more. The familiar, comforting rules of washing lines and freshly-mown grass and steaming coffee.
And we know — we are sure — that the night train does not exist, that it cannot enter our daylight hours. How silly we were to believe in such things, we think, as we cross the fields, our minds filled with work and shopping and life.
We cross the tracks, shopping bag in hand — brimming with sliced bread and vegetables for that stew.
There’s no such thing as the night train, no such thing as ghostly shadows or the Devil. Just bread and fields and freshly-mown grass.
When you read my words
do not focus on the words themselves.
Focus on the spaces between the words.
Too often you look to the stars in heaven
and ignore the vastness of space
in which they hang.
Do not catch your breath,
become aware of the gap between breaths.
See the air through which raindrops fall,
the hole of a wedding ring.
Almost all of an atom is empty space
and everything in your life
that seems solid
is made of atoms.
Including your body.
You are space.
S p a c e
FIRST VIDEO TRAILER FOR MY UPCOMING SECOND NOVEL.
Set a century after the events depicted in The Destiny of Ethan King (available from Amazon now), The Legacy of Kara Reyne tells the story of a woman living in a society oppressed by a totalitarian world government and battered by severe environmental issues. Kara continues the journey begun by Ethan so many years ago and decides to see it through to the end. Whatever that may mean.
Life, I mean.
It hums and it drums
and it thrives.
Sometimes, I mean.
Sometimes it thrives
until it dives
deep into the labyrinth —
so vast and empty
The loneliness, I mean —
when the props are whipped away
and you’re left to wobble
in the cold, alone.
It’s still there, you know.
The hum, I mean.
Quiet; almost imperceptible,
it sounds its vital call —
Theseus’s gold thread;
a winding lifeline for all those
who live in fear of monsters.
The monsters of the mind, I mean —
with their horns and claws.
You grasp that thread tightly,
palms bleeding, eyes shut
as you follow it through
the riddles and knots of thought.
Finally, you turn one last corner.
You turn and see —
there, in the emptiness:
The icy cold truth of it
staring blankly back at you,
Waiting for recognition, maybe.
And love, perhaps.
Waiting to be seen with clear eyes,
So that the warmth may enter
and chase out the chill.
That chill you have stoked
every day of your life.
Lay down the coal-laden shovel
and turn away from that dark furnace.
Smile, instead, into the mirror
as you dissolve into solidity
and solidify into vapour.
It’s just the Gatekeeper, you see.
The labyrinth, I mean.
With its monsters and mirrors
and its golden thread.
The Great Gatekeeper to what lies beyond
the awakening of the human spirit.
That which language cannot capture
as it brushes the edges of Truth
and plummets to Earth —
Icarus, his wings melted.
And so these words mean nothing.