In the 1990s I returned from Calcutta with the bones of an idea for a novel – I knew the beginning, the end and the destination for a journey which (to my knowledge) no other novel had attempted to navigate.
So the task required only that I fill in between those two points.
Finishing a sizeable written project demands a kind of schizophrenia: in the mornings it helps if you believe yourself to be the best writer in the world (otherwise it will never be written), and in the evenings that you are the worst (otherwise it will never be corrected).
Between these two hammers, a balanced work of style and substance will hopefully get knocked into shape.
Initially, my morning enthusiasm ran wild, and I wrote (and rewrote) hundreds of pages―I’ve since spent over a decade of evenings attempting to chop up and chisel a good idea poorly executed.
Along the way, other problems presented themselves that put me between a rock and two hard places.
Firstly, I knew little about Theology, let alone how to translate it into challenging entertainment, and render its peaks visible from lowly planes and through real world grime.
Secondly, no mainstream publisher was ever going to adopt a Catholic novel―even before recent spotlights―and the more didactic and combative the output, the lesser the chances.
Thirdly, having some Catholic pleb mixing sex, drugs and Northern Soul with things way above his station, would have Canon O’Dwier turning in his grave―the Prodigal Son is not open to literary scrutiny!
However, I believe a Catholic Novel that goes all the way, in a tone that everyone can relate to, is long overdue – and this is my effort.
September of 2016 finally sees a draft that is fit for purpose and for which I will heartily stand (though I’ll no doubt be tinkering until the day I die).
However, I don’t know if its good or bad timing, to complete such a work just as narcissism, pointlessness and human stupidity appear to be knitting a perfect storm.
…and by the way, anonymity is just part of the story.