Following on from my last blog about how writing Steampunk saved my writing life, I wanted to share what happened next. Steampunk also inspired me to write in a new direction.
As mentioned before I mostly write contemporary crime, a bit of horror and Cthulhu too, but mostly contemporary crime. Well, a while back, I had an amateur detective who worked with a local copper and I thought it was a good book, series material in fact. Then I sent the manuscript to my editor, Tony Fyler of Jefferson Franklin Editing, and it came back trashed. Well, not trashed exactly, Tony isn’t the type of editor to do that, but basically, the message was – “This is rubbish, you can do better.”
And looking back now, it was a fair message, but at the time I was devastated. And that book was consigned to the waste bin. The main character, the police officer in that book was this guy called Maker, I’ve mentioned him a few times, mostly in Schrödinger’s Edit, a brief overview of which is that Maker was trashed and I rewrote him and was scared to see the edit.
Turns out that while Maker was never a punk, what he really needed was some steam. What I did was take him out of the 21st century and put him in the 19th. For him, it was a change of clothes, not a transformation. But it transformed the way I wrote about him, and it gave me much more license to show who he really is, and why he is that way. It’s still basically a crime story, but one in a very different vein to anything else I have done.
Once I was done, I (in total trepidation) sent Maker back for the edit in Schrödinger’s Edit, and got nervous about what it might say. Eventually, of course, I opened the edit up and read it. Tony loved the new version, to quote him: “Maker SO belongs in this time period, all tight bows and tighter corsets. He’s like Darcy’s grandson.”
Yes! An actual comparison to my absolute all time favourite character! Sooo happy!
The new book has been revised, I did the thinking bigger I was advised to do, and it has also gone through a name change, it’s now “Shades of Aether”. And it’s back with Tony as I write this, to see what he makes of it now. Hopefully not a dog’s dinner!
The point is, in the last blog I said thank you to Steampunk for saving my writing life. This blog is saying thank you to Steampunk for showing me where Maker belonged – for saving his life – Literally.
 Bow the action, not the bow you tie in a ribbon.