31 March 2013

What are you writing about?

Some questions are easy to answer and some questions are easy to answer but a little more difficult to understand. I was asked recently what I was currently writing – The Bull At The Gate, the second in the Torc of Moonlight trilogy. See, easy on both counts.

Then came the follow-up question which, in truth, no author should wait to be asked: What’s it about? Ah well, following on from the first novel, Nick, the main protagonist, has moved to York, and Alice…

Except that isn’t what the novel is about. I’m writing about alternative realities. What the characters do, how they act and react to the trail of plot points I lay down for them, is the fuel that powers the vehicle that tracks through my exploration of… alternative realities.

Very often this term is accepted as a substitute for parallel universes, but I consider that overblown. I live an alternative reality to someone in Syria at the moment, or living on the streets of Moscow in the worst winter for 50 years, or the person in the next road who has just opened the door to a police officer bearing bad news.

Alternative realities are far closer to home than SF or Fantasy, or Quantum Physics, would have us believe, but just as we each inherently deem our individual reality is true and everyone else’s is an alternative, so do the different characters in The Bull At The Gate. The only thing for certain is, the term is never mentioned in the novel.

Reading or writing a fiction? What’s it about?


  1. An interesting piece again, Linda. We do all lead truly parallel lives. It's where we connect that most influences us. If we could stress the points of contact rather than those of conflict, we might all live in a much better world.
    But get that book finished. I want to read it!

  2. So true, Stuart, but for us writers we'd have no story without conflict. I often wondered whether we are hard-wired for it, no matter what we expound. I suspect it is part of our reaching for a better life that sometimes gets subverted.

    As to the writing of this sequel - I'm on it!