All the time that has passed hasn’t been cheaply spent.
Back in 2015 an opening line became a short book.
That cathartic first attempt created a need to tell further tall tales; and discussing the difference between Goths and Steampunk was the genesis that gave the world Amy Grace.
And, as ever the original incarnation is a very distant cousin from what we have now.
Originally a child found amongst the dead of Khartoum, a child that was to grow up and chase a scoundrel around the world in an epic HG Wells/Jules Verne adventure.
That was the plan.
Flying machines and steam.
It didn’t happen.
Page one, of book one, made an instant and drastic turn in the opposite direction from the pre-written plot line.
The first few pages were brutal (not the version that survives now) and pulled absolutely no punches as to what was going on and the inherent cruelty of such an event.
The premise for this revised incarnation was to write an unapologetic tale about surviving rape – steampunk and flying machines only ever guest appearances from that cruel moment onwards.
Rewrites, critique and further changes toned down the opening salvo, what had been brutal was now told with enough description to understand, but not enough to see each stretched sinew.
Thomas Payne had an ending an ending that was corrected with Magic.
Magic gave us love, and love gave us Gotham and lost friends.
Gotham led us to treachery and had us thrown into Prison, and incarceration is leading us a merry dance.
Through it all I’ve sent versions of Amy Grace to agents and recorded the replies.
Delusion may be mine, but I honestly don’t think so.
My sales pitch is undoubtably poor – my elevator time is tongue tied frustration.
Sip tea with me and I’ll tell you everything, I’ll enthuse, and I’ll pull you into the captivating world of Amy Grace.
But it is the elevator pitch that counts, the application form that rules supreme…
It’s not insurmountable, but it is difficult.
Things of worth are supposed to be hard won, and begrudgingly I accept that maxim.
So, five years of writing continues.
Years of attempts do not end.
Tales still need telling, and the cursor is still blinking.
The Apachean mountains beckon, we have a coal war to survive, men to kill and friends to save.
Keep the faith, stay safe and stay sane!