Trials and smiles of a wannabe author part 4
So what’s happening in the worlds of Ragaris and Ragaris-publishing these days?
Some of you will know a lot of this already, especially as I’ve just sent out a belated Update to those on my mailing list (posh) but I feel tempted to be more confessional and detailed on the blog.
I’m currently juggling four different books in my head.
Firstly, the party to celebrate “The Tenth Province of Jaryar” is booked for 27th April. I’ve failed in my aim to hold it substantially nearer to the publication date this time, and I’ve also had to change venue. This was because I was fussy about the date. Dates are less prominently displayed in TPOJ than in WDNKC, but, as those who’ve read it will know, the story deals with an election following a conference. This conference is clearly stated to commence on 24th April. The vote is on 28th, and so I am celebrating the book, in a sense, the night before the plot reaches its climax.
Planning the event is busy and fun, as is trying to learn from the mistakes of last time. (Not to provide nuts as a nibble, for example, or not more than one packet.) I need to select passages to read, and am willing to listen to suggestions.
I’m hoping that CS Woolley, my publisher and prolific author, will also be there. Unlike me, CS Woolley (Caz) does not stick to a single genre but writes all sorts. She has written: adaptations of Shakespeare and other classics for use in schools, classic fantasy (Chronicles of Celadmore), Victorian mysteries (Mysteries of Stickleback Hollow), PI detective stories (Nicolette Raven series) and two series of historic fantasy designed for children with dyslexic or similar problems, The Children of Ribe and The Children of Snotingas. The sharp-eyed may deduce that the latter has a Nottingham connection. So there’s something for everyone’s taste in her output.
Invitations to the event are going out, and posters being distributed, and all are welcome. (27th April at 7 in Beeston Library. It won’t go on late, there is disabled access, and I’m told parking in Roundhill School carpark.)
Secondly, the first draft of the third Tale from Ragaris, “The Servant’s Voice”, has been completed, and the book is currently under revision. A small focus group is assisting with their comments, and since they’ve only had part one so far, I need to get a move on with part two.
“The Servant’s Voice” takes place in Ricossa to the east, a country of strict protocols and severe sentences, and has already been described as “dark”. There is perhaps less cheery conversation than in the other two books, for a rather sad reason. I’ve still got one or two plot points to sort out as I go.
Thirdly, in my odd moments I need to start planning book four, assuming as I do that I want to write book four. I look at the map of the continent that my brother kindly drew for me, and wonder: is it time for a tale set in the supposedly holy and mountainous land of Defardu, where priests train and killers do penance? Or the northern land of Falli, traditionally Marod’s ally, where fame is more important than money, poets are prized, and heretics are protected? Or somewhere on the edges of a country, a backwater in the south of Jaryar, the north-east of Marod, or the Jaryari island of Qasadan (whose legends tell of cannibals)? Also, need I stick to moving forward in time, or might it be interesting to peek backwards at the past? Would this confuse the casual book-searcher?
In order to start writing, I need to mesh together a setting (probably one of the above), a plot, a few characters, and preferably something I want to say.
Fourthly, a friend has (kindly) nagged me into getting out the ancient work, the one that started it all off between twenty-five and thirty years ago. This story pre-dated the King’s Thirty and the phrase Swords Without Misogyny, but set up the original concept of medieval gender equality – and also the “X son/daughter of Y” naming pattern. In those days Stonehill was called Oldtown. It’s quite strange to go back to it.
So all my books except one are in my mind at once. It makes it a bit difficult to appreciate other books, but since I’ve just started reading “The Left Hand of Darkness” by Ursula K Le Guin (see post here ) I don’t expect that to remain a problem.
Love from the PPI Blogger