MESMERIS, my first novel, is the tale of two young people caught up in a violent religious sect. The main character, Pearl, a rather naïve seventeen-year-old girl, led the way, plot-wise. I wrote thinking I knew where the story was going. I had it all sorted, thank you very much. Until Pearl took control, that is, and it became obvious there was only one way she would go – her way.
Many songs inspired this story, among them Diving Horses by Death in Vegas, You think I ain’t worth a dollar, by Queens of the Stone Age, and Set the Fire to the Third Bar, by Snow Patrol and Martha Wainwright.
It is a love story, a tragedy, with a thread of madness running through it. This thread continues in the sequel, INFIXION. a small taster of which is also posted on this blog. Only when I’d finished the first draft of Infixion did I even realise the theme was there. It wasn’t deliberate, or planned, it ‘just happened’.
By the time I began to write the sequel, I’d become used to Pearl’s ways, but now there were new elements, new characters, new situations. Writing from both Pearl’s point of view, and a male character’s (Spicer) gave the story a new dimension. It took time to get inside Spicer’s head, to understand the way his mind worked, how he’d react to given situations. It was with some trepidation that I began. Would I get it right, or would he sound like a girl? Even worse, would he sound just like Pearl? Aarghh!!
As it turned out, I loved being Spicer. I loved the contrast between him and Pearl.
The song that most inspired Infixion is Soul Auctioneer, by Death in Vegas. I listened to it on repeat during the first draft. Not while writing (have to have silence to write), but whilst driving or cooking – any activity where my brain could concentrate on the feel of the story, the tone, rather than individual events.
Waste of Space (working title) is aimed at an older readership than Mesmeris and Infixion, and is sitting in a virtual drawer at the moment, about thirty thousand words of (very) rough draft in. Several songs inspired this one. The Script’s cover of Eminem’s Lose Yourself, particularly, as well as Billy Talent’s Sudden Movements, along with others.
The theme of the story is how unfair life can be. Not everyone gets the same chances, and, for some, nothing ever goes right.
Although it’s on hold at the moment, one of the main characters, Robbie, does nag at me. ‘Oi!’ he seems to say, ‘We’re waiting for you.’ And it feels just like that, as if the characters are frozen in time, wherever I’ve left them, waiting for me to come back and move them forward.
Yes, I know – it’s fairly obvious where the madness theme came from.
Hope you enjoy the read(s)!