So it’s almost the end of the working week, and i’ve been busy writing the first draft of my book Manchester At Midnight. I started it a month ago, and i’m about halfway through, and finding myself more and more excited to see what happens next.
I finished a book on Celtic mythology by Lewis Spence, which drew on everything from: Faeries, Ghosts, Gods, Glass castles, King Arthur, Druidism, And some really odd stuff. there was a section on druidic talismans, which Lewis strongly suggests were made from solidified adder semen (If that isn’t a testament to faith I don’t know what is!).
I’ve also started a few books, which cover different genres and ideas but seem to have a core element of insanity thrown in the mixture. The Angels of History by Rabih Alameddine jumps from the life of a gay man in the middle of the great aids boom, while the devil and death conduct an interview on whether it’s better to accept your suffering, or to push away and accept oblivion. It’s really well written, and Michael Chabon blurbed it, so to me that’s a great sign.
Here’s a little doodle I did last year, when I first came up with the idea of Manchester At Midnight, which at the time was just a short story. The character is called Tatty, and he’s an old book that floats around the streets of Manchester like a ghost, trying to survive and keep a hold of his story. If you don’t have a mask in Manchester then you’re at risk of people trying to hurt you or steal your secrets. Books don’t have any rights, and as a result often end up torn and missing whole sections.
In Manchester at Midnight people are like books: Some are complete, deep, and engaging. There are those with good plot, even pacing, and detailed characters. Some people are like short stories, easy to get through, fun, but nothing ground breaking. Then there are notepads, ideas scribbled down and hopefully understood when read. Then you have post-it notes, who are often barely legible words on a piece of paper, which is all to often forgotten and left stuck somewhere.
This is a story has all sorts of books and people in it, each with their own story to tell, regardless of genre. Manchester At Midnight is my way of drawing people into a city that belongs to everyone. It’s a place that doesn’t let anything go, and makes use of everything and everyone, no matter how bad.