Friday, 1 December 2017
From Kung Fu Iron Palms to the Floating World (via Bollywood)
So, plenty has happened since my last update. First, I hit full funding as a result of all of your kind pledges (thank you so much again). Then I went back to the manuscript and gave it another, final edit.
I'm not sure of author's etiquette on admitting these things, but having not looked at it for over a year while fund-raising, I found myself really enjoying it. Hopefully, this isn't just arrogance and the feeling will be shared when it's finally gets printed and delivered.
Because, to quell your fears, it will be with you and it isn't an elaborate Ponzi scheme - Unbound's team of editors are now sharpening it up and taking out the rough edges as I write. This despite the fact it's about the 8th or so draft I've worked on.
I don't know how other writers come up with the ideas for their books but Floating World came about after I started to turn my last book into a Bollywood script. It wasn't the most obvious route to take as my first, Sugong, told the real-life story of a Chinese kung fu master. But having seen a film with a similarly boisterous lead I thought with some changes it would translate well. I got in touch with a few studios in Mumbai and after they expressed interest I started to develop a film treatment.
In the end it didn't get a deal, but the changes I needed to make to the story gave me the confidence to try my hand at fiction. All I had to think of was what to write about. Not believing I had the depth of personality or talent to write a soul-searching study of human emotions I decided to go for something I hoped would be page turning instead - a thriller.
This led me to a choice of settings. Being new to fiction I thought I should stick to somewhere I knew. This meant London, Kuala Lumpur or Tokyo - three cities I'd lived longest in. I considered them in 2 ways - which could help bring something different to the genre, and which I would like to spend time in for my research.
Underutilised as a setting for English language books and with numerous possibilities for different characters and plots, Tokyo came out top on the first point. And having been itching to go back for over ten years since living there around the millennium it won hands down on the second as well.
That decided all I needed to do was come up with a plot, research and write it, all of which I'll update you on in a later post for those not too bored by this one.
In the meantime, The Star, Malaysia, have done an article on how sumo and woodblock prints came into the mix - to be posted shortly when the pdf arrives.