My goodness. It’s been a wee minute since I last launched a new book, and even longer since I launched one out my comfort zone, so, in short
I AM FINE 😂
Well, I’m nervous, but I’m mostly excited. This book is a bit different, which is both scary and thrilling. It touches on a couple of genres, thriller, romance and fantasy, and it’s me so there’s a bit of humour too — but it kind of dances to the beat of its own drum too.
It’s an idea that I’ve been talking about for years, then chickening out of actually writing. The basic concept first came to me about five years ago, while sitting on my paddleboard on Loch Lomond. The fog had come down quite suddenly, and this was before I moved back to Glasgow so I wasn’t overly familiar with where I was. I was sitting there, just dancing on the edge of being a bit nervous as I had no idea how far I was from shore or in which direction to head to reach it (for non locals, Loch Lomond is BIG), when I saw a shadow in the mist.
A fairly large, dark shape just drifting by me (or possibly I was drifting by it).
To this day, I have no idea what it was. A boat? A tree? The seaplane?
Nessie on her holidays?
I had recently read a story about a warband of vikings, who having failed to attack Dumbarton Castle by sailing up the Leven, had instead sailed up Loch Long, carried their boats over the hills from Arrochar to Tarbet then attacked (and won) Dumbarton from behind. So naturally it popped into my head that it might be a viking ship. And then I couldn’t get the notion out of my head.
For the next few days, then months, then years, as I wandered about the city (particularly over the past year when walking has been my main waking activity!) I kept imagining the history I was walking through. Now and then, I would turn a corner and recognise somewhere I fell off my bike, or the hairdressers where my mum got her hair cut from waist length to a bob when I was about six. Other times I picture workers streaming out the shipyards at tea time, mammies flinging pieces out windows, milk maids in Maryhill, tall ships sailing up the Clyde from the New World, merchants and lepers and centurions.
But for years, I couldn’t grasp the story. I had the world, abd I’ve got potential characters and possible storylines coming out my ears, but I couldn’t quite find my way in. I had a few false starts — oh have I had false starts! I’ve started and stopped so many times that by earlier this year I’d more or less given it up as a cool idea that just didn’t want to be written.
Then something happened in the news. It’s a spoiler to say exactly what, but it got me angry. It got me really angry, and suddenly all those random notions and thoughts started swirling into a form.
The next morning I sat down and started writing.
And now here we are!
Because it’s a bit different, I’ve decided it deserves to be launched in an unusual way!
I’m going to serialise it, releasing a mini chapter every day, and then on the day it launches, book 2 in the series will also be available. So we’ll all kind of read it together, and chat about the story on each chapter post or on social media. Also just for another daft wee twist, the following day’s chapter will be available each day too… IF you can guess the password!!
To join in the fun…
Sign up here to get chapters emailed to you every day at 5pm:
Keep an eye out on social media (@csduffywriter) for the daily password clues.
(Don’t worry about the release date, it will come out much earlier but you’re only allowed to move release dates up not back so I set it with loads of spare time to begin with then will update when we’re into the swing of it!!)