News and Creative Questions

Apology!

I have to start with an apology.  I realised too late that I posted twice in a very short space of time about my latest paperback.  I really had no intention of doing so but I was rather swept along by my excitement yesterday, and forgetting that I’d already made the announcement didn’t help!!  My only excuse is that yesterday was caused by my receiving my own copy of the book.  I really have no intention of becoming one of those bloggers who just bangs on interminably about their own works!

An Amusing Fact

This statement is not meant to elicit a cascade of good wishes.  It’s simply something of some mild amusement, in my view.  Today is my birthday, the 56th one inflicted on me by a cruel calendar.  It strikes me as slightly funny that the one thing I haven’t received is – a book!  Don’t get me wrong, either.  I have a large library, which has grown exponentially with the advent of ebooks!  It’s also a truth that, with my increased writing activity, the time I have available for reading has declined significantly.  Of course, as it’s early yet, there’s still time for a book to put in an appearance, and it would be very welcome, naturally.  I also have to say that I don’t make gift buying for me easy!  I admit to only one thing, when asked: that I don’t need anything, and there’s nothing I would dearly love to possess.  More, I reiterate, every year, that I would rather that our three children spend their money on more important things – like their own families!  And I can say that I mean every word – totally!

Of course there are books I would like to get, but so many are out of print and can’t even be found online, or are insanely expensive if they can be found.  There’s not one, single book that matters so much to me that I am willing to pay any price for it!  So I am content.  If I should, by some happy chance, come upon a copy of a desired book at a sensible price, fair enough.  Until then, they will remain on the list.

Work In Progress

This may be a matter of total disinterest to you, some mild interest, or even some resignation.  I have already begun work on the fifth book in the G1: The Guardians series, and surprised myself by its opening!  I won’t, for obvious reasons, give any details.  It has to be enough to say that the beginning is very different, and the story promises to be equally different.  Naturally, G1 won’t be excluded, but there are glimpses of other things, including a bit more about how the police of that undefined future time regard the Guardians.  There’s also a clear indication that the members of the organisation aren’t so insular that they have no contact with people on the outside.  It’s not an ‘international’ story, this time, so we’re again somewhere in England, but perhaps we’ll learn a bit more about future English Society – or maybe not.  Only time will tell.  The one thing I’m fairly confident about is that this is very likely to be another novel.

A Parting Question

There have been numerous new books, and movies, that are quite blatant retellings of old stories.  Everybody seems to be doing it.  Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Treasure Island, and so many more.  This would appear to be a downhill path to stagnation.  But is it?  Are there any truly original stories?  Taking English alone, there may be a very large potential vocabulary at our disposal, but, when all is said and done, it is still a finite language.  And when you start putting words together into comprehensible sentences, the variations available actually diminish.  So, as authors, are we ultimately condemned to come up with rehashed tales, even if we’ve never personally read anything even remotely like the material we’re writing?  It’s reminiscent of music’s difficulties.  We’ve all encountered music tracks which sound very familiar, but which have been honestly composed, without sampling or direct copying.   There being a finite number of possible combinations, however, means that there is an inevitable occurrence of familiar musical phrases.  Surely this applies to stories too?  The basic themes are repeated, with new settings and characters, and maybe as a kind of story stew, with elements from a wide variety of earlier works.  I’m not talking about plagiarists!  All I’m asking is: are we all retellers?

~ Steve

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