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Tag Archives: james ross

confucian

 

When I published Gun Jesus earlier this year, part of the premise was that there was a new Chinese Premier, with Xi having been ousted and the new leader being more of a Confucian in his approach.

Well, it looks like I got the first part of that right. We’ll see about the second.

Harm’s Way

 

I’m ready to begin the first, rough draft of Harm’s Way, the third and final book in the Jago trilogy.

I’m stuffed to the gills with notes and ideas, snippets of conversation, narrative trajectories, characters. Was going to wait until the New Year – it’s not due out till Spring ’24 – but I might start soon.

I want to see how things play out.

 

science

 

I’m thankful for antibiotics. Saved my life when I was young. Saved me a lot of pain and illness since. And now, they’re easing me out of a throat/chest infection that was showing no signs of disappearing soon.

Still feel washed out though, like I’ve landed face-down on a beach after my ship capsized in a storm, and am barely able to crawl out of the water. But the thing is, I’m on the beach, not flailing about in choppy seas.

And on the topic of the beach, think I’ll chance a walk down there this morning, with my pooch, Angus. He hasn’t been getting his usual walks.

Angus. Always ready to walk. Or sleep.

18 days

 

As an exercise, I planned to complete a draft of a short novel within a calendar month – September.  I began on the 1st and completed the draft it on 18th, so I had twelve days left. It’s about 25,000 words in total, and it’s quite sweet, but it needs editing. I’m going to put it away until next year.

What I’ve learned from the experience is that rushing into the work like this – doing the whole 30-day draft thing – severely narrows perspective. I like to let a story breathe as I write. I like to be able sit back and think.

However, if I want to force something through, if it needs writing, so long as I can go back and edit at a later date, it’s a viable route.

 

 

I decided to try and draft a short novel, from start to finish, within a calendar month. I’d heard of this approach but never attempted it. Halfway through the month and I’m 21k words in.

It’s turning out slightly different to what I’d planned, but they always do.

 

Mallory’s Tower

 

The current thing – title above – is designed to be short and sweet, in four acts. I’m approaching the quarter-way mark and it’s flowing nicely. Not quite sure what the mcguffin is yet, but I know where it is, and I know where the emotional punch is too. But we’ll see. The general rule is, if you describe it, you don’t write it, so I’ll say no more for the moment.

Beginner’s Luck

 

I collated Beginner’s Luck a good few years ago. The premise was: 5 short stories that might become novels.

One or two have.

This one hasn’t, and it’ll be a novella at best, but at some point I’ll complete it.

 

 

Shore Line Gold

 

I was chatting to Dan about someone I knew back when I was a kid and how I’d used him as a model for the protagonist in my first book, Shore Line Gold. Actually, the character of St. Clair is made up of two people I knew, plus a piece of myself and one or two others, but the  main thrust of the story, based on that character from my past, who was a very dangerous human being, is the question – what would happen if a bad man decided to become good? How would the universe react?

Anyhow, I decided to go back and read Shore Line Gold. It’s quite short. It’s not ‘novella short’. It’s more a tone poem in story form. I got through it in one evening.

I liked it. Really did.

And it’s still my favourite book cover.

Harm’s Way

 

Busy developing the story for Harm’s Way, the third and final part of the Jago trilogy.

I think the central thrust of the story is that these people have a purpose. There’s no fat, no excess, in their lives. They each have an active role to play in the continued existence of their people. They each are engaged in their own, ongoing struggle to survive, within which confines they attempt to contribute to the greater good.

And somewhere below that are the demons that they carry – Jesse’s childhood trauma, Johnny’s dark past, and in the case of Mother Harm, the ruthless nature that means she bonds with some for life, while others she can she can walk away from, as if they don’t exist.

“She’s wilful,’ Dakota explained. But that doesn’t get halfway towards her true nature.

I’m looking forward to writing this.

 

Gun Jesus

 

I’m almost finished Gun Jesus.

It hasn’t turned out the way I expected, but that’s a good thing, means the story took on its own life rather than adhered to my initial plan.

Should be out mid-July.