And lo, it’s been over two weeks since the last update. I’m really rubbish at this, aren’t I? Well then, let’s cut to the chase and update y’all.
I’ve been hard at work on Project Hush-Hush, primarily with chapter eleven of The Forgotten Son which has been a very hard chapter to break. Writing a narrative that’s set in the late ’60s has its share of difficulties since it was a time of great change and a time before I was born — only just, though, but still, we’re talking at least seven years before any real memories of mine. It’s kind of like writing an historical, with lots of research to get the small details right. In some ways not a whole lot has changed, but in others everything has changed. People are people, and basically the same throughout history, all struggling with the same emotional issues and relationship complexities no matter what era you’re writing for, but it’s the small details that create the era. And this is why chapter eleven has been so difficult. The setting for that chapter is 1937/’38, a time when the political climate of the world was undergoing a massive upheaval, where Germany was making itself known is no uncertain way, a time when Britain believed it was finally escaping the depression that had claimed it after the Great War, not knowing they were on a brink of another world war that would do more damage to British economy than ever before and change the face of the world forever. And all this is important background stuff which informs the characters in chapter eleven, although it had no actual bearing on the story told in that chapter. The hardest part was trying to find the voice of the child characters who dominate that chapter, especially children living in the late ’30s. A very different time to be a child, but not so different as all that, as I discovered when I was writing it. How well I’ve succeeded is something which the readers will have to judge, but after two weeks I believe I’ve broken it well and made it work. Certainly my first draft editor (fellow author and unbiased voice, Jonathan Cooper) thinks I did a good job of it — although, of course, he had some useful advice and suggestions. My intention was to capture the Chocky vibe, and I hope I’ve done that.
Beyond the actual writing, I’ve been in important meetings about the series, which is ever near being announced now. We’ve got our cover artist, the maestro himself, Marvel UK’s very own Simon Williams, and some exciting ideas about what direction we’re taking the cover design. I’ll be getting to see some cover images within the next two days, which is VERY exciting indeed!
In other news I’ve been posting some fun stuff over at Type 40, most notably an interview with Hannah Haisman, granddaughter of Mervyn Haisman, co-creator of the Brigadier, the Great Intelligence and the Dominators from seasons five and six of Doctor Who, plus a top ten of my favourite stories to feature the Brigadier. Pop over and have a butcher’s.
So, that’s me these last two weeks. Now I need to get back on with The Forgotten Son — only got another three chapters left, so I hope to have the first draft finished within a week. It’s all exciting times, with the other authors working on Horror, The Schizoid Earth and MAD while I finish work on my book. Four books coming next year — watch out for the announcement VERY soon!
Incredible Hulk art © Simon Williams 2014