YES SON – ABOUT MY BOOK (BLOG TWO)

The 1st thing I thought about was I wanted to set the book in a perfect setting were nothing ever happens or goes wrong. Were most days are monotonous. Except for the mowing of pristine gardens of the stunning grade 2 listed cottages from the seventeenth century and the odd game of bowls at the local green. So the affluent, sleepy village of Bibury in the Cotswolds was the perfect, ideal setting. 2nd I wanted a focal point where people meet regularly but not a pub or a community centre and so Saint Lawrence Church was ideal. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if there were a ghost (Harry), a witch (Madeleine) and an alien (Maxwell), which is unusual. It was a huge task to really convince people that Madeleine was really from Australia so they’re plenty of references to enforce this i.e. the gift bag with visit Australia, the Melbourne Cup, the Gold coast, the National Park, the dingo type feral dog and Benjamin having a lust for the young female tourists in Sydney etc. Also with the local accents. Especially as I’ve never been there or to the Cotswolds before. So this was a big challenge with lots of research. I also wanted to have Henry and Madeleine to be opposites for example Henry loves his father so much but Madeleine hates him. To enforce this she sticks needles into a voodoo doll effigy of Maxwell and other references. But even so, Maxwell still loves her. Henry likes to go hunting for jackrabbits with Maxwell once again proving their strong bond together. Henry is scared of the lightening strike but Madeleine isn’t bothered by it with her being a witch. Henry’s character is based upon myself, as I can be childish at times. That’s why he wears a nappy. But I don’t smoke, wear big glasses or have a beard! I tried to make him funny too for instance he’s incontinent and has stupid ideas. There are three characters that are pregnant. Madeleine, Annabelle and Gabriel. Although none of them show that they are. I thought if Madeleine was pregnant then surely the Chief Officer wouldn’t shoot her but no, he is evil. And so he kills her. He also bullies the naïve rookie cadet, not really a nice man. But Oliver, Oz police officer, is a mentor to him. I also wanted Annabelle to be pregnant at 68 years old, which would be impossible at that age. A freak if you like. She’s an alcoholic due to Maxwell’s controlling behaviour to herself and Madeleine. This and being dumped by her rich partner Jake turns Madeleine to witchcraft …

This explains her affinity towards creatures like bats, pigeons and spiders etc. I liked the idea that Jake worked on a submarine making it hard for communication between them. I had the idea that Maxwell comes from an ideal planet where everything is perfect unlike ours. I thought wouldn’t it be great if he lived under the sand in the desert to protect himself from the heat with advanced technology. Henry is desperate to go to Zarg to escape his monotonous life and his alcoholic mother. He is overjoyed and thinks it is the coolest thing in the world with his father being an alien. I was shopping in Morrison’s one day with my Father and we came across the delicatessen counter. I noticed a basket of croissants and I thought wouldn’t it be great if on the planet Zarg, croissants was the currency, ridiculous really!  Then they can either eat them or use them as money! The statue of Saint Mary doesn’t speak but a tear runs down her face whenever Henry is sad. Also, a bell rings to a solemn like death march every time a character dies. It’s been a tough night for the vicar what with the roof collapsing and Henry is the softest target to blame. Especially with the beautiful, valuable golden phoenix being stolen. Harry knows that really hurts him and he plays on this. Henry thinks it’s so cool that the church is haunted. I decided to make the vicar a drug addict, unknown to his daughter (Gabriel) who thinks he’s innocent and the sun shines out of his arse! The vicar is really proud of his rich daughter but Harry has other plans for her. Another shock to kill a pregnant woman. So this is why I made some of the characters pregnant for the shock value. The vicar likes a drink of whisky and owns a French vineyard but he doesn’t drink on the same scale as Annabelle. Madeleine is close to the vicar unlike Henry, again opposites. I decided to make the vicar tall so that he’d be the same height as the hunchback inside the crypt but no match for the beast. We don’t hear much about Madeleine’s much loved older sister (Matilda) but I thought what if she was a really good swimmer but drowned after committing suicide. Madeleine would have helped her out with stolen money from the bank. Maxwell loved Matilda and wished Madeleine had been more like her. I mentioned Madeleine being a witch but I didn’t want to dwell on the fact that she attended black magic ceremonies. Madeleine dying gives Henry a crystal gemstone and a hens tooth for luck but we know how that ends …

I wanted Logan and Conor to be boneheaded but also intelligent at the same time. For instance they know the high value of the golden phoenix and it’s history. They are the only characters to survive the curse. I wanted Hamish, the dead biker’s brother to be a much feared and violent athletic thug. He is the hardest of all criminals and inmates. So in the book there is much love and much hate at the same time. I wanted to introduce Harry early on in the book and throughout but only a snippet of information about him so it keeps you wondering about him until towards the end. Rupert (ghost) is jealous of Harry and has an intense dislike of him. Harry is shocked and frightened by Rupert’s presence and offers him the vicar’s wedding ring. But Rupert declines his offer and I decided to kill Harry’s character, even though Rupert is impeded by his ball and chain. I wanted Harry’s deceased wife Betty to be a mountain climber and I did this so that after he dies, he shall meet her somewhere high up in the mountains. Most of the male characters have a beard, which makes it even more bizarre. Inside the holding cell, Annabelle’s jumpsuit has the numbers 220568 written on it. ! And upon the spaceship at the end, the name Craft Lander F680522, the reverse. Inside  the holding cell, the custody officer tells a tale about a murderer in the adjacent cell who drowns a boy in the local river. So I researched the local river being called the river Coln in the Cotswold Hills. I wanted to make the point that Annabelle really loves Madeleine that much that she’s not even bothered that her daughter has committed two murders. We wonder how Annabelle can afford a beautiful house in the Cotswolds working as a fish filleter. I deliberately left this as a mystery. Also, I wanted Annabelle to have a tough life but I made it even tougher by having her have terminal lung cancer. I also thought wouldn’t it be good if the custody officer mentions tougher sentences by hanging and then have Annabelle hang herself. Also I made the point that normally Australians have the 9th highest life expectancy in the world. The custody officer, I made him look hard and tall being a rugby player. But really he’s a big softy especially when confronted with a jeering crowd of protesters baying for his blood through the cell window. Also I wanted a surprise that Annabelle is a possessed evil spirit. At the end, I wanted Henry to achieve his goal by discovering his father’s spaceship …

It means so much to him but I thought it would be funny if the spaceship had a parking ticket upon it. I think it’s really sad to have Henry die at the end, as he’s meant to be a likeable character but the curse strikes again. The grim reaper has had a busy night and this will be the talk of the local pub the Catherine Wheel for many years to come. I really enjoyed writing the book and it gave me a purpose to do so. Thanks for reading it and may be a screenplay will follow but I’m not arrogant. We shall see.

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