Wednesday, November 2, 2011
"The Rest is Silence..."
On Sunday evening I handed over the manuscript of Silent Voices to my publisher, Solaris. It felt good. It also felt shit. I wanted to hang onto the thing; I didn't want to let it go.
I'm now doing another proofread on my Kindle, after managing to leave the thing alone for a few days. I was cautious at first, wondering if I'd do my usual thing of finding my own work terrible when I re-read the novel. For some reason, when I proof my stories and novels all I ever see is the flaws.
This time, though, it's different. This time as well as seeing the flaws, I can also see the good stuff. The novel changed as I wrote it, evolving and becoming a meditation on several themes that are very interesting to me: northern gangsters, bare knuckle fighting, dysfunctional relationships, the myth of machismo/the Cult of the Hard Man, sacrifice and redemption. As I read this novel again it occurs to me that it's so much more than a horror story - and that's great; it's what I wanted it to be. I just hope that everyone else gets what I've done.
I'm currently making notes for the third novel in the series, Beyond Here Lies Nothing. Again, there are northern gansters, but this time they're joined by a bereft single mother, an alcoholic policeman with father issues, scarecrows with death-photos for faces, and a journalist who's trying to write a book about a true-life haunting from the 1970s.
Taken as a whole, these three books will form a triptych - a set of personal stories set against an epic backdrop. I hope this project works; I hope it sells; I hope to fuck that people like what I've done.