Any sane person would be working on one or, at most, two projects at a time. Me? I’m currently working on…(checks off on fingers, tongue protruding slightly from between teeth, gazing blankly into the distance)…
One: a long novel, The Assassin’s Garden, which I have now split into three volumes. The first volume, of which I have written some 25,000 words or so, is set in Medieval Persia and India. Volume two is set in the mid nineteenth century, in India and England and consists of the bulk of what I produced when I started writing the story. Almost 100,000 words, but with a lot of editing still required. Volume three has some 10,000 words written. So, there is still a long way to go!
It is part detective story, part historical fiction, partly fantasy and partly gothic.
Two: a second novel, that I started after I had published Making Friends with the Crocodile, and on which I work most of the time I have writer’s block on The Assassin’s Garden. It has no title yet, but is set in a fictitious Hill Station in Northern India in the 1980’s, and concerns an Englishman trying to uncover something of his past. So far, I have written just under 50,000 words.
Three: A book of short stories, A Dozen Destinies, which is in the editing stage now. I had hoped to release it by December, but this is looking increasingly unlikely. Subjects and styles range from myth and fable to ghost story to cold war era Europe and, of course, modern India. I am fortunate that in having spent some time in India, travelling and working, most of the descriptions are based on my own experiences there and hopefully have an authentic feeling to them.
Four: My occasional forays into poetry usually consist of short poems on various topics, but I do have a long term project writing a long series of connected poems on the subject of the wind, illustrated by stark black and white photographs. This is very much a ‘background’ project, although I get unexpected urges to work on it occasionally that I cannot ignore. As a working title, I call it Breeze. Original, huh?
Finally, I began writing a humorous piece – a gritty, medieval detective story – that I intended to blog as a series of four or five posts. But it rapidly grew to about 12,000 words, and I’d hardly got going. So that is another one to finish off at a later date.
My first published novel, Making Friends with the Crocodile, is set in India, as are many of my stories, and it concerns the relationships within a family in a small village; more specifically, how women are treated and thought of in a male-dominated society. A thorny subject? Perhaps, but Indian society itself is beginning to take a long, hard look at this topic, so I do not consider it taboo for a Western writer to tackle. What do you think? Our record in the west is hardly perfect, of course. It is available in e-book and paperback on Amazon, and also as an e-book on Kobo.