If SwoonReads weren’t going to pick Damage I wanted them to pick Velvet by Temple West, and that’s exactly what they did. I’m SO happy for her. It’s not just really well written and refreshingly different, but Temple has such a great profile too. Her blog posts are funny and we’ve had a few laughs on Twitter too. I really wish her all the best and if she’s ever in the UK we’re definitely getting her to do an author event for us. I bet she’d do it really well and I’d love to go for a drink with her afterwards!
Meanwhile back in Damageland several thought have been going through my head. Should I try something different? Write something for younger children maybe? I’ve got about five other projects that I’ve started, but for some reason I haven’t got really stuck into any of them and I had to sort out why. The answer seems to be that I’m just not done with Aiden and Cerys yet. There’s too much story potential there and now I’ve created that world I can’t just let it go. I just haven’t quite nailed my technique enough yet.
Interestingly when I started the final edit a couple of weeks ago I could suddenly see what wasn’t right with it, in a way that I couldn’t before, so that’s encouraging. I’m not quite at the top of the learning curve yet.
So I was on the bus last week going somewhere (can’t remember where) and had another one of those literary lightbulb moments. When Aiden and Cerys meet in Damage they’ve had a whole load of bad stuff happen to them in the past. Aiden’s tragic relationship with Louise is another whole story in itself. So that’s what I’m going to look at next. I suspect Damage was too ‘New Adult’ for SwoonReads. But by going back and writing about Aiden and Louise when they were 16/17 it puts it firmly in the Young Adult category.
The working title so far is either Don’t Look Down. Here’s the opening. It’s Aiden’s suicidal moment, that he tells Cerys about at the end of Damage:
If I move just another step I’ll be right at the edge. If I move two steps I’ll fall. One step or two?
I take one.
My trainer scuffs the loose stones and they bounce over the rim. I see them go but I don’t hear them hit the bottom. One step or two?
I compromise. I take a half-step with my other foot. My toes are together, like a diver on the high board. But I’m not thinking about divers. I’m thinking about Louise. I’m wondering what will hurt me more. Another step forward or a step back.
This was a seriously stupid idea and I’m swearing as wipe the sweat out of eyes and fight with the extension cable. I’m tempted to blame Bam for not checking we actually had an electricity supply near the stage. I’m tempted to blame Bam for the whole thing to be honest. I can’t believe he set us up for this gig, and I can’t believe I agreed to it either. I realise I’m actually angry with myself but I don’t want to admit it. We’re not ready….
Luckily we’ve got a week’s holiday in Portugal coming up and I think I might be busy. I need to finish the third edit of Damage and get it up on Amazon. Then I need to plot out the prequel and if I have any time left I need to finish the first draft of Distance, though I’m happy to stick that away for a bit.