I’ve spent more than a month now putting the final touches to the revising, writing and re-editing of my very long novel Gabriel Marchant: How I Became a Painter. This painstaking process has been necessary because I feel this must be my best novel. Room to Write has published it, using the invaluable Createspace process, where much of the responsibility for the quality of the end product lies with the author. In the past this seemed much more straightforward as I worked for a long time with a big publisher where whole departments attended to the details which I have now attended to myself in collaboration with the Room To Write team
People always say, about a new novel, what is it about? This is always a difficult question to answer in one sentence.
Gabriel’s own story is fiction but it springs out of my personal experience of a particular place at a particular time and my research into the true experience of people whose lives were changed in such a way.
In my own mind I was writing a story which came to me and which I felt compelled to write. Committed to Gabriel. Tegger, Greta, Archie, Cora, and Dev, I wrote their story from the heart.
But during this long revision and rewrite I have discovered that, threaded through my story, are my own sense of history as an element of place and my own fundamental ideas about inequality, social justice and the triumphs of personality over circumstance.
Perhaps going to see Shafts of Light and also reading Gabriel Marchant: How I became a Painter would allow people to access a more complex truth. I hope so.
|, ‘Writing Fiction is the act of weaving |
a series of lies to arrive at
a greater truth.’ Khaled Hosseini