I love Marj’s meanderings, which help us to get to know her a little more… since she is shy, you might notice that it’s not precisely a clear close-up. You can find Marj’s blog HERE.
Jane has asked for a piece about my journey as an author. So here I go.
I’ve always been a reader, from the time I was in Primary school and discovered – the library! I read everything and anything. I remember my mother once saying about a book I was reading – doubtfully, “There’s a lot about sex…” I would have been about twelve, and since there never was ‘the talk,’ I wasn’t quite sure of the mechanics of that particular exercise. (I worked it out with the help of James Bond books and a dictionary)
In my early twenties, I decided to write a book of my own. It didn’t work very well. I wrote a couple of thousand words – and then the ending came to me – such a delicious irony and I couldn’t resist. It was a very short book.
I didn’t try again for many years, and then I wrote a dozen or so full size books before the first that I published – ‘Not a Man.’
I made some mistakes when I first started writing – like totally forgetting that a man grows whiskers. He could not be held as an unconscious prisoner for three weeks without ending up unpleasantly bearded.
And if I bestowed a pet on a character that was ‘always with’ that character, then I really should not forget its existence.
It was a series, and twenty (fictional) years had passed before I quite suddenly remembered that a man of sixty in the first book is going to be eighty after twenty years had passed. And that was sad – how could my main character stay young and sexy as more and more years pass. Well, those books had magic, so it was easy. I decided that certain powerful wizards had always lived longer than normal. My man was a very powerful wizard, and was the only wizard who just didn’t appear to age at all. So even after a century, he still looked twenty-four (and a very nice twenty-four besides.)
Continuity. Chapter 23, one of the minor characters died. But oops! In Chapter 25, he was merely retired.
Now I know that men shave, I know that people get older as the years pass, I usually remember the pet, and I don’t bring people back to life.
So I guess that now I can call myself – an author.
My books: Two separate series – the Shuki series, starting with ‘Not a Man,’ and ending with the book I completed this morning, to be called ‘The Frost and the Sunshine.’ It will be published late this year. Each of them has a decent conclusion – no cliff-hangers. I hate that in a book, series or not.
And then there are the books I call ‘The Penwinnard Stories,’ not a series in the true sense of the world – all individual stories, but featuring the same setting and some of the same characters. I will be working on the completion of the fourth story quite soon, working title, ‘Lionel’s Wedding,’ and it, too, will probably be published late this year.
Great to learn a bit more about you, Marj! I enjoyed this.
Thanks, Tom. And thank, Jane.
I liked your comments about the small things we might forget to follow through such as having a beard or not. I often wonder how Highlander or Tarzan never had to shave? Well there you have it! Even the great authors forgot about the minor details. . .