Welcome to 2014 – thought I’d give you an idea of what I’m up to.
I’m not overly inclined to talk about stuff I’m still working on, at least not with any certainty, because I know my amazing ability to abandon projects for a long time when they’re almost complete. But I think this is safe… I think.
I am currently mid way through the second draft of a new novella and, like The Lion On Androcles last year, this is based on an old story by my brother, Colin P Davies. However, whereas TLOA was very much a joint effort (in that I was able to use most of the incidents and characters from the original story, add some of my own and concentrate on the writing), this one uses some major plot points and versions of the original characters but is much more my own story – in other words if you hate it, blame me not my brother!
The original story was called The Evil Incantation and this may yet be the title of the new novella too, I haven’t decided. The original, not surprisingly, was very much a product of its time (early to mid 70’s) and of my brother’s interests back then – Martial Arts and classic Horror movies, such as those made by Hammer in particular. Indeed his story involved a Martial Artist taking on Dracula, as in the Shaw Brothers/Hammer co-production The Seven Golden Vampires (a must see for any lovers of the two genres like me!). It was very much kung fu meets Hammer’s Dracula and there was nothing wrong with that (back then or now for that matter). It even had a Van Helsing character in “The Professor”. What I wanted to do was try and update it without losing its classic horror and action roots.
Now, an admission… I had already “stolen” the two main characters for a novel (that I’m still writing), although I had fleshed them out and made a few changes – gave the Professor a family life and changed the Martial Artist to an ex-Special Forces soldier for example. The novel originally started as a kind of prequel to The Evil Incantation (with my brother’s permission I might add) and shows how the Professor and Tim Galton meet and why they end up travelling together. I’m a good two thirds through the first draft of the novel and hope to finish it before too long. However, I got distracted by the idea of taking that original story, The Evil Incantation, and using my variations on the characters to rewrite it. First draft was finished just after Christmas and now I’m working on the second draft. It can be read as a standalone novella, but it does drop occasional hints towards events from the novel. I hope it will serve as a nice short introduction to these two main characters and that readers will be intrigued enough to want to learn how they met – when the novel is finally finished. It may seem a back-to-front way of doing it but I think it works.
No final decision has been taken on it yet but I am considering combining the novella with some of the vampire-based short stories I’ve written over the years and making a vampire themed collection out of it. That way the reader gets more for their money.
Anyway, that’s where I’m up to. As things become more finalised I will let you know.
Hope 2014 turns out to be a good one for all of us.