Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Next Book

News: The new book I am working on is not a Howard Carter book. There will be more Howard Carter stories, of course. They seem to occur randomly in my head and I can't contain them so those who enjoy them will find more to enjoy in the future. But the next novel will be something else entirely.

I hope you're willing to go with me on this journey because I find that I cannot live by farce alone.

One of the things that interests me about writing is how books and writing facilitate the nearly-magical transmission of ideas from my head to yours. I've worked in every aspect of this industry from the pressroom to the author's desk and there are no bits of it that I am not passionately intrigued about, even if I don't want to earn my living doing them every day.

During NaNoWriMo this year, I took the opportunity to explore that a little and I think I'm on to something, a story which will allow me to fuse my passion for history with my love of the written word.

My passion for the written word has taken me down some very strange roads and into some wonderful friendships. I've been in rare book archives and breathed the air of previous millennia and held the weight of cuneiform tablets.

All this gave rise to a desire to write about it and breathed life into a character who is a paleographer, someone who studies ancient writings. Jordan Elias is her name and her adventures will preoccupy most of my writing time this year, and this blog will track some of the research I'm doing to breathe life into her character and her world.

Speaking of Jordan, the characters I'll be using aren't new to me. They've been around awhile and I've tried at various times to get them into print. The closest I ever came to getting an agent was with these characters and only the imposition of Howard "Very Silly Book" Carter sidetracked me from pursuing their story. I've had a lot of fun with Howard and, as I said, he's neither gone nor forgotten, but I very much want these stories which predate his escapades to see the light of day.

The setting this time will be modern-day Seattle and London. There will be libraries. There will be books. There will be intrigue. I'm looking at what I wrote during NaNoWriMo as well as the various drafts the original stories trying to find the story I want to focus on finishing and selling this year.

I have a feeling this one will come together fairly quickly.

In the meantime, I commend to your attention this talk Neil Gaiman gave at the Long Now Foundation (via Brainpicker) to be well and truly worth an hour and 43 minutes of your time. If you have any interest at all in how the stories live and breathe in our midst and the methods of how they are conveyed across the years.


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Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).