Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Friday, September 4, 2015


I got a request to read Marked For Death so did a quick pass to make sure it's in decent shape and to find more typos (there were half a dozen and two inconsistencies that needed correcting). Then decided to change the ending. Not really change, just simplify to lessen the busy-ness of the final fight and make Ben more of a hero. Since I'd shifted this from being a Russian lead to an Irish one, keeping the old last scene felt wrong. Now it's more like closure.

Funny how changing the nationality of a character changes how his actions are perceived. In KAZN, the original story, Niko (the lead) being an ex-soldier from Russia out for vengeance against an American mobster allowed me to get away with some pretty brutal things. Including having him murder  someone in cold blood. But when I set it in London and made Ben half-Jewish-half-French Catholic from Belfast...having him do that hurt his character. At least, how I think his character would be perceived.

But changing him also changed how the other characters needed to come across. Aura and Ric (who were Tani and Gregr, in KAZN) shifted from being completely innocent and unaware to more sophisticated and deliberate in their lives. So it's almost like a different story, now, even though the plot points are still the same. It'll be interesting to see if this comes across like I think it does.

I thought about doing something like this when I was adapting Aristophanes' The Birds...Jeez, twenty years ago -- making two completely different adaptations of it. One was set in the cyberpunk world, which I was heavy into at the time; the other would be post-apocalyptic, with the world a vast desert and the rich living in connected dome cities while the rest of the population lived in caves and had to forage at night or they'd die from the sun's radiation. If I'd written the cyberpunk one then I'd have been ahead of the curve as regards Wikileaks and Edward Snowden. Now it'd seem like catch-up.

This is what happens when you don't buckle down and just write what you want to write when you want to write it -- history catches up to you.

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