Friday, May 16, 2008
Murder your darlings!
Murder your darlings!
This is one of the first and hardest lessons we have to learn if we want our work published. Usually it refers to editing techniques of cutting out purple prose, scenes that do not forward the plot or show something new about a character, or hysterical use of flowery adjectives. It can also mean that in the need to maintain conflict, which is the governing force behind any unputdownable novel, sometimes we literally do have to murder our darlings (a major character in the book).
Book 9 of the Loveday family drama series THE LOVEDAY SECRETS was published on 1st May in hardback by Headline. And this was the dilemma I had to face to keep the plot fresh and the conflict and tension high. A Loveday had to be sacrificed. In other books in the series it was always satisfying dealing with an adversary who has caused chaos and destruction to others’ lives. Most memorable was the evil smuggler Harry Sawle in The Loveday Revenge who had been the terror of the local community from book one. I had great fun devising suitable ends for the bad guys but whenever it came to a member of the family who I have anguished over throughout the nine books, it was not so easy. But I have done it before.
First there was Captain William Loveday (who drowned himself after discovering his wife’s incestuous relationship with her brother and killing them). Then the tissue box came out when Edward, the twin’s father died from wounds cowardly administered by an old enemy. And now for the sake of an unpredictable and exciting plot I steeled myself to kill off another Loveday, armed with two boxes of tissues this time and a demise that tugs at the heartstrings with catastrophic consequences for the family. And who is the Loveday who dies… ah that is a secret revealed only to the readers.
And it is not the only secret revealed. It is time of reunion for the family: joyful in the return of Japhet and his family to England, and suspicious when a long lost cousin the ne’er-do-well Tristan Loveday returns to stir up shameful echoes from the past that threaten the reputations of more than one Loveday. And also a marriage is in crisis… will love and loyalty prevail or will pride and honour be its downfall?As always the passions of the Lovedays run high and woven through the drama of their lives are new romances, intrigue, emotional intensity and a wild-blooded lust for life.
All newsletter readers there is still time to enter this months competition. I am giving away two paperback copies of Loveday novels of your choice.