After I had published Making Friends with the Crocodile, I spent two or three years writing a second novel set in India, A Good Place, this time set in a fictitious hill station in the foothills of the Himalaya in the 1980’s, and concerning an Englishman trying to uncover something of his past. It was once I had finished the first complete draft of ninety thousand words that I decided it wasn’t the story I wanted to tell after all, and so I have put it aside for now. In time, I will decide what I want to change and what I want to keep. I have a feeling it may end up quite different to its present form.
But that does not mean I’m not writing at the moment. Not by any means.
I have returned to a long novel, The Assassin’s Garden, which I have been working on now for about five years and which is now split into three separate volumes. The first volume, of which I have written some forty five thousand words or so, is set in seventeenth century 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 a hundred thousand words, but with a lot of editing still required. Volume three has some ten thousand words written so far. So, there is still a long way to go!
It is part detective story and part historical fiction, partly fantasy and partly gothic. And it is threatening to get rather weird…
I write short stories as the mood takes me, and I write poetry, on a rather ad hoc basis. Much of it ends up on blog posts here, and sixteen poems, along with seven short stories, are published in my collection The Night Bus. But I am already accumulating quite a few more towards another collection, and then there are the humorous pieces, which I’m never quite sure what to do with once I’ve finished.
And on the subject of humour, now and again I work on a story that began as a short humorous piece about a street-wise detective in Tudor England and has so far grown to about fifteen thousand words and shows no sign of stopping.
Oh, what to do with it?