Been reading round a whole bunch of independent publishers, and having fun! What’s more, vicariously shoplifting. Must be something in the water, but two good 2019 reads feature shoplifting protagonists. Finer Things, by David Wharton, Sandstone Press — love that cover, takes me right back to the 1960s. That’s Delia, a real success at her career as a professional shoplifter, surviving the seedy underworld of London. We hope. Then there’s a cover with a green dress, Run, Alice, Run, by Lynn Michell, Linen Press. It’s our present times but ranges back to Alice’s first ever shoplift and the decades (and lovers) in between then and the mess of revived shoplifting she’s landed herself in.
So what is it about shoplifting? A tip I used when writing my novel now **agented**!! by InterSaga was: think of something your protagonist would NEVER do, totally out of character. Then have her do it. It wasn’t shoplifting. But… that tingle, that thumping heart, that daring to do something illicit.
It’s about doing it when events or emotions push you over the edge into what-the-hell. Like writing.
Do it, just do it. After the not-knowing, but vowing my trust that it would come, ideas for Next Book are pouring out. But all higgledy-piggledy (Happy Year of the Pig, by the way). How to tame, how to order. I don’t know, but keep on writing. It doesn’t matter. Get the words on paper, fix them later.
I now have three different starts for this novel. Have already diverted a fourth to be used further on. One challenge is to know the back story, but provide it later. Get into the story, the voice, the action. Get the characters talking to each other: Lo! They become people! And anyway it will all get moved around when I am much further in — so interesting to find out what is going to happen next!
Meanwhile heartening news, agent A has read all of A Body of Knowledge, and we meet this week! She misses the characters, we are plotting our path together, and I’ll be able to tell her of characters to come…
Today’s the deadline! The previous post on Ephraim M Epstein’s site HERE asks the question. Tell me the correct answer and you could win the book — one USA, one UK. Also currently on Goodreads. Good luck!