I took a trip a few weeks back, into a local book shop. It’s not something I do frequently these days as I’ve grown quite lazy and anything I want, Amazon supplies. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, and if I’m honest I was just accompanying my girlfriend. Imagine my surprise when I found a new book by one of my favorite authors, one that I hadn’t been aware of. I can already hear what you’re thinking, authors put out new books all the time, it’s what they do, (unless you happen to be George R.R. Martin!). My issue with this book was that the author has been dead for over a decade. I picked it up and my first thought was “What the hell is this?! What it turned out to be was wonderful novel, from an unpublished script, in a genre that the author in question wasn’t known for.
To answer your questions, the author was David Gemmel, and the novel was Rhyming Rings. The book is an easy paced, stripped down thriller, worlds away from the fantasy that he was known for. Similarly, I’m also reading Faerie Tail, a novel by Raymond E Feist. This book is also outside of his usual genre, although not as far of a stretch as Gemmel’s. It’s in print since 1988, so it’s nothing new, but both books are a chance to see well known writers tackle topics outside of their usual haunts. I found it interesting and maybe it’s something we should all do, try something different, something outside our comfort zones. Not just from a writing perspective, but life in general.
My first taste of doing something different was in 2008, I went snowboarding. To some people, this might not be that different, but I’d never seen anything more than an inch or two of snow at a time, snow that would disappear in a few hours, and as far as I knew, winter sports were something that rich people did. I instantly loved it and took to it like a deer to ice skating. I’m still awful, but I still love it. My next big thing was in 2013, when I took up HEMA. I’m not into confrontation and I’m not the most assertive of people, so the idea of hitting people with weapons was not the most comfortable. Almost five years later and I’m still taking part, and still loving it. Maybe there’s a lesson there, try something new, you might just like it!
Moving back to ancient history, I’d finished my second project and on the back of that I started my third. This was to be the start of a long fruitless period, where project after project was started only to fall to the wayside and never finished. It was during this period where I started developing the first of my proper worlds, a place that hasn’t been seen here, yet. I spent weeks working on it, only for it to fall to the wayside, just as all other projects around this time. Unlike those projects though, I keep returning to this world every few years. Details get added, removed, and altered, in a cycle almost two decades long. Hopefully something will come of it soon! If this cycle has taught me anything it’s never throw out unused project work. You never know when something will suddenly become the seed of a new idea. T.P.