adventures in dysthymia

Friday, October 28, 2016

"An Honest Job of Work"

“I’m just trying to write a series of novels which are good fun whether you look deep or shallow, but which keep their end up as an honest job of work.” ~ Lawrence Durrell

My feeling exactly. I want to write solid books, books that work on more than one level. Novels that both entertain and say something worthwhile. Novels that are well crafted. I shall keep attempting this.

However, I’m thinking that I probably shall not tackle the folk festival mystery novel right away. It needs some time to sit on the back burner and thicken up. Ideas pop up now and again, and I note these down — eventually, there will be enough for me to move ahead with it.

I am more likely to tackle the first of three probable “Mora” novels that follow my Malvern trilogy. These will not be Malvern novels, nor will they be the sort of continuing story that trilogy was. Rather, they are standalone tales of some of the peripheral characters in those books. These are fantasy adventures, of course, not ‘serious’ mainstream novels. Not that I don’t take them seriously!

I am glad that I did get around to writing my two more-or-less mainstream novels (even if they ‘officially’ listed as crime novels) set in Cully Beach. Are they good? Darned if I know, but I needed to get them out of my system. There may or may not be more novels set in that fictional coastal Florida town, which may or may not center around surf shop owner Ted Carrol. We shall just have to see about that. However, the mystery mentioned above may be related — I have not absolutely decided on that.

I did not delve as deeply in those novels as I might, nor as deeply as I originally intended. The first, SHAPER, ended up much lighter in tone than first envisioned and the sequel, WAVES, even more so (since I knew where I was going by then!). Yes, they deal with depression and alcoholism, corruption and crime, and, most of all, character growth, but I tried to keep the pair of novels entertaining as well. No one even dies in the second one, although there are attempts.

Anyway, some day I may write a darker novel or three. If I do, my ‘other’ Florida character, Branford Perry (who has appeared in short stories) might be the protagonist. Or I could invent someone quite different. We shall see about that, too.

Incidentally, I have also been dabbling at a sort-of sequel to THE EYES OF THE WIND, consisting of a series of letters between the former pirate queen, Qala, and the young noblewoman, Marana, who accompanied her ambitious husband, Saj, to a new home on the isle of Lorj. Whether I shall actually develop this idea (which is rather like a collection of short stories), I do not know, but I could cover a couple decades of correspondence, down to the time of the ‘great devastation’ that had been foretold. It could certainly work as a bridge to the tales of Saj’s sons, but could it be sufficiently interesting? It is something I will mess with from time to time, probably, and let go where it will.

So, off to work on GOD OF RAIN, the first of those Mora novels I said I might tackle next. And if I get sidetracked from those as well, so be it!

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