So what next?




Today my new novel Like An Angel Sings is released by Amazon, Kindle and that big brigade of bookseller shops - if only to a muted fanfare of trumpets! At the same time and probably to similar ineffect comes my SO WHAT?, the autobiography created mostly here on this blog.

So what next? Well, I'm not short of choices. The world is full of stories - my world is, anyway, the world of imagination. I could make a new start on Rose Feather, the novel half written twenty years ago about a young lady snooker player and her dissolute father. Or I could morph any one of half a dozen short stories into long ones, in particular the five thousand word story called Willie's Place in the anthology entitled Twenty Bites. Or  ... for month after month whilst writing and re-writing and editing over and over again my Like An Angel Sings I knew the story of Jamie Case could not be neatly tied up in some kind of happy ever after ending. I wanted to go on with, at the very least, an extra hundred thousand words. Impractical. Now, I'm not overfond of the thing called a sequel but my choice for what next is just that - call it Like An Angel Sings Again even though that will definitely not be the title. Furthermore this sequel will link up with my second novel, Going with Gabriel.  

If you have read my autobiography you'll know I have not been present at the birth of any of my children. But I imagine it is not that much different (for the male gender) to the pain and the pleasure of giving birth to the first paragraphs of a novel. And the future of that novel cannot be that much more uncertain than that of emerging baby. So share thie following with me ... It helps if you have read Like An Angel Sings  and its predecessor, Going with Gabriel ... but not essential.



Chapter one



As instructed he left the cottage in total silence, dark into windy, rainy darkness. He stumbled as best he could down to the shore, unable to make out the waiting inflatable until the last moment. Taking great care he scrambled over the loch-side boulders. No more back pain these days. In silence the man he knew only as Gabriel took his hand, assisting his ungainly embarkation. He could feel the bump and scrape on the rocks beneath as he settled down in the boat's bow. He looked out across the water. The riding lights of the warship glimmered in and out. Inland, the croft cottage, his home these six months past, was invisible but Rita Mackenzie’s cottage as always had a light left on. For her dog, Crack, she’d said.

Jamie Case felt a sickness that had nothing to do with the heaving of the sea.

Gabriel pushed them off with an oar then began to row westerly towards the mouth of the loch, keeping as close in as he could to the shore line, presumably to decrease the chances of being picked up by the warship’s electronic surveillance. After the best part of a wordless and ultra-wet hour they left the cover of the rocks and cut across the sandy bay on which, only this evening, he had spoken to and played his tin whistle for all the people. Having once more arrived alongside a jumble of shore side boulders Gabriel temporarily stopped rowing. ‘You O.K. now, James?’ he asked.

‘Yes. I’m good. Where are we headed?’

‘About another hour or so we’ll be well round the headland. You know there’s no road or pathway along there after the beach. There’s a bit of a cave in the cliffs not far past the point. Accessible only by sea unless at low spring tide. There are a couple of friends waiting for us there. We’ll be OK in there while the hue and cry dies down.’

‘I won’t ask you what then, after that,’ Jamie said.

‘No. But it’s all good. You’ll find out, young man.’ He had a nice voice, this Gabriel. Calm, good humoured. ‘You brought your tin whistle?’

‘Yes.’

‘Good again. We’ll be playing duets. You in the lead.’

I'm going to try to write a chapter a month, 'publishing' it here. You know what they say; a man's reach should exceed his grasp. We'll see ...


 

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