I don’t know how this is going to turn out, but while Cheats and Liars is cooking I’m looking at all my works-in-progress deciding what story to focus on next. Trouble is, there’s a lot to choose from and I really would like to work on them all.
Here’s a batch under consideration.
From the Backfields
The favourite at the moment is From the Backfields. The first draft of this was written about 15 years ago. It’s been lingering at the bottom of a drawer and at the back of my consciousness ever since.
From the Backfields is set in the Welsh seaside town of Elchurch and follows Mick, a man puzzled by the mysteries of his own life, for 50 years. The story starts in 1963 when Mick is just 13 years old.
Elchurch is really Llanelli in a parallel universe. Perhaps all stories come from parallel universes, or, maybe, a parallel universe is created every time someone tells a story.
There’s a story in there somewhere.
Skin and Bones
Next is Skin and Bones, another story set in Elchurch. Skin is a cab driver and his brother Bones is a detective. They hate each other and avoid each other as much as possible but are drawn together when Skin becomes tangled up in a local murder and Bones is assigned to investigate it.
Skin and Bones is fully outlined but only three or four chapters have been written.
Bridge (or Busted)
This was completed as a first draft nearly 20 years ago and put aside to mellow. There it lay undisturbed until I rescued it from an old floppy disc a few months ago. Bridge (it’s going to be renamed) is a story about, in his own words, “failing businessman, useless husband and second-rate father” Tony D’Arcy.
Tony gets mixed up with a corrupt businessman and looks set to become an even bigger failure, unless he can find the strength and the courage to fight back.
Only a couple of chapters completed on this one. Bums is a novel set in the alleys and on the benches of Elchurch. “Smelly Sally pissed herself – again.” These are the bums, the misfits, the no-hopers, left to rot by an uncaring society. The story follows . . .
Anyway – it’s still very early stages with this one.
Another tale in the very early stages of revealing itself. A modern day Fagin operates from the dingy depths of the Backfields estate in Elchurch. Frederick, a local businessman and magistrate makes it his mission to put an end to the Fagend’s reign, ripping away the thin veneer of sanity that covers his own life in the process.
The Elchurch Series
So, the main thing all these stories have in common is their setting in the town of Elchurch. I didn’t intend to do this but it makes sense to collect them together in something I will call The Elchurch Series.
Writing, editing and publishing The Elchurch Series should keep me going for a year or two. Expect the first book, either From the Backfields or Skin and Bones to be published in the spring of 2013 – or not.