Wednesday, April 8, 2020

"Dream" writing... by Cathy Ace

Craft: The next book you write will be published, under whatever name you choose (yours, or a nom de plume). What will you write? Why?

Answering this question in times like this is proving to be good for me, because it’s allowing me to imagine an alternative reality…something I dare say quite a lot of people are doing at the moment.

Everything I’ve ever written has a LOT of me in it, but not all of me; there are bits of me that are missing. That’s for lots of reasons. I’m (possibly surprisingly, to some) a very private person; I know what I’m prepared to share, and what I’m not. Throughout my life I have compartmentalized, and I find that useful in retaining a sense of control, and sanity.

If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written you’ll probably know I am fascinated by history and the impact it has on the lives we lead today. But I’ve never written a historical novel. Why not? Dialogue is critically important to me and my storytelling, and I have never been convinced I would be able to “speak” through historical voices with any conviction that I’ve done it right, because I’d be working from secondary sources all the time and I am too much of a fiddle-faddle perfectionist to ever feel I’d done a good enough job. 

So the book I’d like to have published next (but, see below...) would be the one in my head that recounts how a particular religious sect came into being, has existed, survived, and secretly thrives even today in many countries...and why that matters. I have a title. I have the story, which begins in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, moves through the early days of Christianity in Europe, into the well-named Dark Ages, through the Renaissance, the so-called Age of Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and into modern times. I know the main characters who would tell this tale in their own voices, and from their own vantage points. I know why the tale needs to be told, and how it should be told. I even know the ending…but I fear I don’t have the years it would take me to write! Given that I really do have my plate full with planned books for the next few years – as well as something going on that I can’t tell you about at all at the moment (I promise I shall, when I can!) I just cannot see me getting to it. Not even given the fact that I am not making a lot of the trips I was due to make this year. 

I think I would ask for it to be published under my own name because – well, why not? And the title? “SOFIA” (see above, for various versions of this name). I know, that doesn’t really tell you much, does it? But the book? Oh, it would be fun to write it – if only I could convince myself about that historically accurate dialogue problem! 

If - given I'm unlikely to get to write the book I've just described - you'd like to try something I have written already, please CLICK HERE.

And, if you're all up to date with these books, maybe you'd like to consider pre-ordering the 9th Cait Morgan Mystery NOW! It will be published on 29th June this year, and you can find out more by clicking HERE.


Paul D. Marks said...

I think we all have that book that we really want to write, Cathy, but don't see the time for. I know I do. Maybe some day we'll both get to those dream projects.

Cathy Ace said...

That's what I wanted to find out about...I knew I had one, and it's interesting to see that others do too :-)