I’ve added a new page, called downloads, to the blog, and put in a Word doc containing the first chapter of the novel. Is this a way of showing people what my writing is like – ‘try before you buy’ – or just a shameless attempt to reel people in (or perhaps a bit of both)? Watch out for some short stories appearing on the page soon – at least you’ll get to read the ending without having to pay!
I’ve been thinking of how best to explain what the book is all about – to describe it in a straight-forward way rather than sounding like a publicity synopsis. It follows a character called Alex, a Graphic Designer living just outside Manchester (Manchester, England, to quote Dave Haslam) over around six months of his life. Six months during which he’s having a bit of a crisis, at work and in his marriage. There is a fair amount of plot, and (I hope) some surprises, but mostly I tried to concentrate not so much on the events themselves, but on how the characters are affected by them – Alex in particular. Behind this there is a theme – an exploration of the conscious mind versus the sub-conscious; how what we think we want may not always accord with what’s going on in our sub-conscious minds. And how our mistaken ideas of what we want can cause us to act in ways that take us further away from what we actually want.
A writer’s own life and personality is bound to influence what they write about, and I was very aware that this can be particularly true for a first novel. With this in mind, I went out of my way to make sure it didn’t become auto-biographical.
Anyway, I hope some of you will have a read (Chapter One is just under 10,000 words) and let me know what you think.