I am a creative person – always have been, always will be – but I’m also currently without a lot of spare time. My third daughter, Eadie, was born on the 18th, and currently she’s trying her best to bend our daily routine to her will. Since her will is essentially that we must awaken at any hour of the night she pleases and supply her with milk or replacement undergarments, this doesn’t leave much room for creativity. Both energy and focus are ebbing, I find, but the desire to create continues. And that means the itch is driving me crazy.
The dedication inside my first book, Xenoform, read as follows:
In the interests of honesty, I have to say that this book is for me.
Find me a creative person who doesn’t
ultimately do it for selfish reasons.
I stand by that. I don’t write because of some altruistic desire to entertain people; neither do I do it to make my fortune (if I did, I’d be pretty disappointed). I write because I have to; creation is a fulfillment of my selfish needs. In the past it has taken many forms: poetry; invention and building of crazy devices; acrylic and pencil artwork; woodwork; song-writing . . . anything I can turn my hand to, basically.
I posted some poetry last time (don’t worry – I’m not about to do that again, at least not yet), and I pointed out that this is an efficient way for me to bleed off some of that creative pressure. Song-writing is a very similar type of pursuit. I love music, and I enjoyed seeding Xenoform with song lyrics. Sixteen Pills, first heard in a City Six cellar bar, actually went on to be developed into a full song, which I played with my ex-band, Blossoming Psychosis. Big Lemon Save the World, another song I wrote, went the other way, ie:- from the band’s playlist, into the novel. I suppose the point is that I’ve always been a busy bee; I’ve always flitted from one creative flower to another. And the slow pace of progress on my current WIP, Corp Wars, is frustrating to my nagging sense of impatience. I just need to work out a way to shoehorn a bit more writing-time into my hectic family schedule. But I’m getting there.
Corp Wars follows a superficially similar theme to my previous two novels: the tale is set in a universe dominated by godlike corporations which control every aspect of most people’s lives. But whereas Xenoform was set in the very early days of a corpocratic Earth, and Macao Station neatly avoided the whole rise of the super-corps (being set long after the decline of the great commercial space race), Corp Wars directly tackles the battle for domination of human space. The story is told through the eyes of a Farsight marine by the name of Dane Haley, who finds himself drawn into an emerging conflict on a scale never seen before.
It’s going to be good – my best work so far – but it’s going to take me a while. Failure, however, is not an option. That itch, you see, must be scratched. The alternative is madness, which has never gelled very well with art. /end sarcasm