For months now, I’ve been working on final edits of both my new books. One for adults “Belvedere Crescent” is another time slip which will be out some time in 2019. More pressing is the work I’ve been doing on “City of Secrets” my book for 8-12 year-olds which is due out in October.
“City of Secrets” tells the story of Letty Parker, a girl who makes her living selling pies on the streets of a Bristol which exists in an alternative universe. In her city, dragons and gargoyles gossip on the roofs and Barbary eels slide up from the river, to gnaw at unsuspecting passers-by.
Then Letty’s step-sister goes missing; so do some of the street children who buy her pies and boys from Jeb’s gang, but no one seems to care. The authorities won’t help because the children are poor, so what would happen if a rich child disappears? Letty and Jeb have a plan…
This mystery is the first of a series and it’s taken a lot of work to get to this stage. Not only the writing, but the copy-editing, by my friend Karen and by Peter, the editor at Penkhull Press who found a number of inconsistencies that I had missed in spite of reading and re-reading the ms more times than I can remember.
I enjoy editing. I like to look in detail at a piece of writing to see if it works, to read out loud sentences that might be a little clumsy and re-write them if they are. I even like listening to the deadpan voice of Word reading my work back to me.
However, editing uses a different part of the brain than creating and I am aware that over the past year, I have not been writing creatively. This was bothering me for, as they say, if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Then it occurred to me, that every week, mostly, I write and post my blog. Now if blogging is not writing creatively, then I’m not sure what is. I sit here and talk to my audience, just as I would if writing a story, or a novel. I structure and hone my piece. I might not create a character, or have a plot, but this is a way of using my creative skills and for the moment it’s certainly filling the void.