Storyteller, Storyteller, Tell Me A Tale

The obvious question that is asked by my previous blog posts is “Ok, so you’re not a writer, you’re a storyteller. Well, what stories do you tell?”

I have created countless characters and plots in my head over the years, that there isn’t enough space on the internet to write them down, but the one story that has dominated for me has been that of Harry Hicks.

The idea for Harry first appeared, back in December 2002, when there was a misunderstanding about something at a family Christmas Day meal. I’m not even sure what the issue was – but I do remember it bringing quite a frosty atmosphere on the day for some period.

That is until it was explained that what had been a perceived slight on one person’s part to another person was, in fact, completely innocent and not intended at all.

This idea that reality is dependent entirely on the perception of the person experiencing it was not a new one, but it was new to me at the time. I came up with the idea of a murder mystery which presented the facts of an event from various points of views, all the facts in the story would be presented, but they wouldn’t connect, wouldn’t be resolved until the end.

That idea bubbled under while I sat my GCSEs and then started work and college. Then one day, I was re-reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (pretty much everything I do will connect back to JK Rowling at some point or another) and it struck me, how intricately plotted and rich the Potter world was. Specifically, the mentions of Sirius Black and Mrs Figg in the opening chapters of book one, despite not actually making appearances in the story until books three and five respectively.

I was in awe. I wanted to be able to write some massive mind-bending complex plot that was both entertaining and impressive. Something, that with the last chapter of the last book tied up everything and referenced back to something from the very first chapter of the first book.

It was at this point that the idea of the murder mystery came back to me and the story of Harry Hicks and the Cromwells was born. Originally dubbed the imaginative Family Affairs this would be a complex novel with hints dropped in the very first sentences and red herrings littered about all over the place. It would take careful potting.

About eight years and over a hundred thousand words later, my first novel was finished. And it had gained a new name in the process

Memories of a Murder is my first fully-fledged novel and involves rising superstar Harry Hicks visiting his boyfriend’s family home for Christmas (about the only thing left from the very original idea is that it would be set at Christmas), and while they’re there, the patriarch of the Cromwells, Ernest is brutally murdered, with every guest a suspect.

I immediately started writing a second novel continuing the adventures of Harry, but that’s another tale, for another time…

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