Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, animals with a two-year pregnancy. Whales or hippos, maybe elephants – I can’t remember all the way back to school; it was a long time ago. It was also a long time ago that I began writing this novel. More than two years, in fact. The opening paragraph was conceived on the 5th of September 2010.
I’m not a mother and have never given birth, so I don’t know what that feels like and nor do I want to, because from everything I’ve heard, it’s not the kind of pain that you’d wish on your worst enemy. Despite this, people do it and survive. And sometimes they do it again and follow it up with another one or two after that. Don’t ask me why. I do novels, not babies, and at the moment I’m trying to do this one.
Yes, I’m trying to give birth to this novel, but it just keeps telling me that it’s not ready yet. It keeps swirling around inside there, swimming another lap or draft and telling me not to rush things. Well, I’ve been trying not to rush things for over two years now. And it’s not like it’s the first time.
Okay, so those first two novels didn’t see the light of day. Picture the Roman Emperor giving the brave Gladiator the thumbs down, and then watch as the entire audience rises to its feet in the vast, ancient arena and gives the same thumbs down, and you’ll have a rough idea of how most publishers and agents responded to my first historical novel of 110 000 words, and the semi-erotic 75 000 word murder mystery that followed it. They are now both safely buried in the same trunk forever. Romantic, huh? Like Romeo and Juliet, or Aida and Radames, and just as dead, I’m afraid. All those words, all those ideas in so many drafts and they languish at the bottom of a trunk, never to be reborn. Not unless I do some chainsaw editing, join them together and totally rewrite them into something new, with a new title. Something with ‘Lazarus’ in it might be appropriate...
But I digress. Again. I do a lot of that when I’m supposed to be writing. (Well, I am writing at the moment, but just not the novel; I’m writing this blog instead.)
There have been two more books since those trunk novels – a novel and a novella, both currently up on Amazon as e-books – and this third one is on its way. Almost. Almost but not quite. Not quite ready yet. Yes, I know I should be writing that instead of this, but that’s big and this is quick, and this’ll be over soon and people will glance at it, read it and move on. Or just move on without reading it, but that’s their choice, not mine. You can take a reader to a writer but you can’t make him think... er... drink. Drink it in; read it. My point is: this is a blog. Just a blog and not a beeeg, wide, fat novel of almost 100 000 words. People will read a blog and move on, whereas they will buy a novel, hopefully read the whole thing, and enjoy it so much that they look forward to the next one by the same author.
And therein lies the problem. This IS the next one.
I have a certain reputation to live up to now, based on my first full-length romantic mystery. My short novella was just that – a short romantic story of 25 000 words, set one hundred years ago. It seems to have found a niche audience, and I’m very pleased about that. But the current work-in-progress is in the same genre as my first romantic mystery of 82 000 words, which was set in present-day Greece. That one was all about murder, deception and ancient religious artefacts. This one is set in present-day Italy and is all about murder, deception and forgeries of famous Renaissance paintings. While this one is not a sequel or even a follow-up, it will hopefully appeal to the same readership which enjoyed the Greek novel.
I’m itching to get it out there, only it’s not quite finished yet. Did I mention that? It should have been completed and uploaded on Amazon by now, up there and out there, but it isn’t. Maybe this week, maybe next, maybe never. No, no, don’t say never! Not never, not ever! It’s on its way, trust me – like those baby whales, hippos or elephants... whatever they are.