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I've just put the latest Filthy Henry novel, 'Accidental Legend', to bed. It is done. Finished. Completed. Ready for people to read or ignore as they see fit. What's funny, at least from my perspective, about this book is its origins.
Many moons ago, when I was still in school, I decided that I wanted to be a writer. To make money crafting stories similar to those that I read was a dream job. After all, how hard could it be? You just start typing and in a few short hours have a book appear. Right?
Obviously not right. There is all the stuff before you write that first one. Plotting, characters, subplots, genre. The list is long and if you just dive into it as a weekend project you get nowhere. Fast. Trust me I know. But I have talked about how I write in previous posts. This post is about something slightly different.
This post is about the ideas that I write.
Back in my teenage years I had decided to write a story that was a parody of an old Celtic legend. I called it "The Ogra Pig" for no real reason other than it loosely tied into the story (it had a pig made out of solid gold that was alive). I even gave the universe it would exist in a silly name, calling it 'Celtverse'. It took about fifteen false starts over six years before I finally sat down started to write the story properly. I spent time plotting it out, reworking it, wondering why I was bothering with it. Fast forward a few years and I met the lady friend. She encouraged me to actually finish the book and send it out into the wild to see what would happen. So I did. While I was waiting for the publishing contracts to flood through my door I started writing a second Celtverse novel, titled 'Filthy Henry'. It was about a character who worked as a detective in a world filled with magic while he had only his brains.
Neither story saw the light of day really. The responses for 'The Ogra Pig' were lukewarm at best and silent mostly. This made me not even bother with the second novel. It was consigned to the digital scrapheap.
Then a strange notion popped into my head. I figured Filthy Henry could actually be a main character on his own. I (with the godlike powers of an author) pulled him from one world and created a new one just for him. I gave him magic, made him be a detective, the whole nine yards. The end result being the very first Filthy Henry novel that people have been reading for two years now. This was quickly followed by the second one, The Impossible Victim.
But always, somewhere in the back of my mind, my little pig story wanted to be told. After all I had spent time plotting it out. I had it all there, in my crazy mind. Just like keeping all the drafts of a novel in my head at one time, this story was there as well.
So why abandon it?
I spent a month figuring out how I could tell the story again, with Filthy Henry in his current form involved. All the old Celtverse elements were removed, the pig sent off to the rasher factory in the sky, but the bulk of the story survived. The result being 'Accidental Legend'.
It's a funny old world inside my skull
Amazon.com link (Kindle only for the minute):
Accidental Legend Kindle
Accidental Legend Kindle
Accidental Legend Paperback