The first half of the first draft of my new novel is in the hands of my editor, while I hammer out the kinks in the second half.
The going is good.
I like the story, I like the characters, and I’m writing about good ideas in a way that I like.
Nice and smooth.
As it usually happens when I’m very busy doing a lot of things, nice ideas start popping up almost everywhere, and it feels really bad to put them on the backburner, or to bury them in my tiger-striped notebook, waiting for a moment to work on them.
Getting new ideas and imagining new projects is a great way to keep tiredness at bay – and I’ll talk about that too, one of these nights.
But right now, I have two dream projects, that I still do not know if, when and how will take shape.
The first, is an idea about a fantasy novel, set in the Mediterranean area, and in Italy in particular, more-or-less in Medieval times.
So far I have a very loose set of ideas and models. I’d like to reprise local folklore and traditions, and give the whole a humorous spin.
As I told elsewhere, I discovered fantasy not through Howard or Tolkien, but through the stories from Unknown magazine.
To me, fantasy will always be humorous, tongue-in-cheeck and anti-heroic.
So, that’s the first idea – doing a (not so) straight fantasy long story, starting here in the hills where I live, and where in the time of yore both Templars and Saracen pirates roamed.
I have a long list of references, from Mario Monicelli to Magnus & Romanini, by way of Roberta MacAvoy and Guy Gavriel Key.
And yes, Ladyhawke, too.
And a liberal dose of Sprague de Camp & Pratchett’s rationalized fantasy.
The second idea is…
OK, so I was interviewed a few days back1, and I was asked what I’d like to write outside of the genre – and off the top of my head I mentioned I’d like to do a western or a mystery, but I also had to point out that, knowing myself, I’d probably end up sneaking some supernatural/fantasy/sf elements even in a mystery or a western2.
I know my limits.
And I really really like both the idea of the weird western or the occult detective story.
Just last night I found this painting – that to me represents sort of a summary of why I write.
So, yes, I’d like to do some genre-bending – and maybe write something about an occult detective.
Or more probably, a couple of occult detectives.
Right now, the ideas are written in my tiger-striped notebook.
I’ve got a novel to finish, some steampunk stories and scenarios to get on the road, and a whole world to design.
And a ton of great books to read.
Now this certainly beats working, right?