… on Thursday last I gave my second novel, whose working title is Hope Remains, to my agent.
And now I feel oddly bereft.
I have become so used to spending my days immersed in the sadnesses and joys of the characters, in watching them move about in my head, in omitting long passages that I had planned for them and in discovering the things that they led me to … that now my days feel empty.
The original idea for the novel came from the fact that my great-grandmother survived the sinking of the Titanic … but facts do not a novel make and so I invented a life and a love for her. What she realises about herself in her lifeboat in the cold lonely mid-Atlantic is at the heart of the novel both emotionally and actually (there’s a pleasing symmetry in that).
I hope the language serves the characters and their stories well but now, until my agent has had time to read the book and tell me where she thinks it needs work, I have to leave the characters and their stories alone.
And I find that I miss them.
In the nursery rhyme Monday’s Child, Thursday’s child ‘Has far to go … ‘. I hope that Hope Remains and its characters won’t have too far to go before a publisher provides them with a home. (And I find a better title!)
And it’s been odd, but since October last I have never once felt like MATing … perhaps I’ve kicked the habit?