Sunday, 24 May 2015

My next book—a Boys Own Adventure? Like, huh?!

There's something very strange going on inside me at the moment. Call it hormones, the side-effects of being a mother or just plain lunacy—but each time I see a boy, generally between the ages of 11 and 14, I can't help but stop and take notice. Sometimes I choke up, other times I spark up a conversation or just stand there, mesmerised, unable to divert my eyes. Like some sort of crazed stalker or pining, childless Aunty.

What is this sudden obsession with 'boys on the cusp' and what, pray tell, has it got to do with my writing?

As some of you know, I'm the mother of two sons (yes, aged 11 and 14, how'd you guess?) So my strange fixation may have something to do with their growing up and, perhaps, the fact that with each passing day (sleepover, soccer match...) they're growing away from me. Perhaps I am just trying to soak it all up before they are gone forever and I am left with an empty house and a yawning kind of emptiness. (No point sugar coating it, I've seen the faces of the emptynesters in my neighbourhood.)

In any case, whatever the cause, it has fostered a craving to write about boys of a certain age. I've never had the inclination before. Not even close.

Women of a certain age

When I first started writing my Ghostwriter Mystery series I was a 20-something woman living and working in Sydney. No surprises there. Sure, I didn't have Roxy Parker's cool attitude, career or hair, but the autobiographical elements were as obvious as her chunky glasses, and I was fine with that.

Around that time I also wrote about a young woman searching for her missing father in remote Papua New Guinea, and, later, started a new book series centred on two sisters who were—shock, horror—20-something women with cool attitudes, careers and hair.

My how things have changed 

While I love my ghostie and will breathe life into her for many years to come, I am finding my tastes are evolving, my need for different kinds of voices and experiences intensifying.

And so I have started a new novel, one completely different to my usual fodder. This one is a DIY murder mystery that's set in a small town and centres on the murder of a mother by her young son. Or so she thinks. She's not completely sure whodunnit but she is 100% dead so she can't search for the answers on her own. With a bright light beckoning ever closer she implores you, the reader, to help her find out before it's too late.

Did her beautiful boy kill her, as she imagines? Or is someone else responsible (oh please God!)?

Got you intrigued?

Take a look at the first few chapters of a rough draft I have been sitting on. It's posted on my Free Quick Reads blogsite. Time today is precious—did I mention my beloved, energy-sapping sons?— so I'd love to know whether the story has a wider reach.

Does it captivate you? 
Do you think I should continue and see where we end up?

While my decision will always be my own, it's nice to get feedback from the people who keep coming back to hear my stories unfold. So please, dear reader, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Happy reading, everyone!
xo Christina

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