I have just finished my second book. A well sifted draft. Parts have been ditched, pinched, pulled, turned around, thrown about, discarded and re-written and I think I am happy with it. I am deciding what to do about it, where to try and find a publishing home, and I will take a little break from the manuscript then come back to see what else it may need.
The working title is Wetlands, subject to change because another book with the same name was published a few years ago. But so far I have failed to get a title that fit it better and so for now, I am happy with it.
Wetlands – The blurb
Britain is awash, the sea takes the edges of the land, brambles and forest swamp empty towns and villages. The countryside is empty of endeavour and people, as food production has moved overseas. People live in the cities. It is not post-apocalyptic but it is some decades further down this wrong road we now travel.
And it is a road novel. Only, on foot, along the abandoned A12. We follow the road with Isolde, a woman in her thirties seeking a self-sufficient community of internal exiles. She walks the road, a strangely flat break in the trees, meadow flowers growing in the thin soil washed onto the hard surface. She shelters in abandoned houses, goes into department stores invaded by ivy, windows greened with lichen, empty of all but a group of white mannequins, silently waiting, as though for The Rapture. She sees a wolf crossing a motorway bridge.
It is a novel about transitions, about what is wild, what domestic, about the blending of technologies from fifty years hence and a thousand years ago. It is a novel about agency and control, about the power of the state and the collusion of the citizenry. It is about the symbols and rituals with which we make meaning. It is about our connection to the land, a land that shifts and changes under our feet.