When I get any time, ever, to think clearly, I suppose things are … that word? When things connect naturally? Not serendipitous. Synchronicity. If that’s the spelling
My uni was Salford and the launch for Killing Daniel is in Salford. Unthank published this novel and they also published an extract from the would-be second novel that I always wanted to be the second novel years ago. It’s in Unthology 1 and was begun in 2010 in a tiny flat in the duff side of Walkden, oft-drug-raided (not mine) joyful little place.
And then, The Lemonade Girl started from a short story (Ghost in the Mechanic) that was broadcast on BBC7 in 2007. That story was written after finishing at Salford in 2005, redrafted on my MA at Lancaster in 2006, which made me think, hey I could do a PhD. Which was Killing Daniel.
Many of the people I met along the way will be at the launch on Thursday. Rodge Glass organised a really fun event at Edge Hill recently, where David Vann came to speak. Hearing how long novels languish in drawers, little paper hands drawn delicately over their cover-sheets in an anguished manner, is bloody useful. How things often look like a straight line to readers, but are often anything but.
So I think much more strongly now that this ‘second’ novel will be the second, even though there have been about three contenders since. A little sample lies beneath.
(If you’d like to come to the KD launch. Details here)
She looks around. This is the place.
The clientele are a who’s who of hicks. Guts resting on spade-wide thighs. Thighs on candy-apple red seats. Plastic getting hot, cooking up their unwashed jeans. Feet stupid and sweating in dumb, dull boots. Bear paw hands. The women that mirror them in the booths. Cheeks bloated and eyes getting obliterated in fat and age and sourness. Fat put there by their menfolk, or their own sad-sack lack of life.