It always happens at about this time, with just under two weeks to go to the start of the funnest writing endurance exercise on the planet. I get the idea I need, or the spark, to get me going.
Last year it was as simple as a mutual misunderstanding between two friends that inadvertently gave me a title, and then a story. This year, I had a decent idea of what I wanted to do, but it was a slightly drunken trip home last week that gave me the small epiphany I needed. That, and thinking about the work of my favourite director John Carpenter. He’s been in my thoughts a lot lately, with the pointless remake of his 1982 masterpiece The Thing underway, his appearance on Mark Gatiss’ excellent History Of Horror on BBC4, and Simon Aitken coming within spitting distance of him while at the Spooky Empire festival in Florida.
So, slightly drunk, slightly dozy, the darkness outside the train window span past, and my thoughts… meshed. I knew, suddenly, how the story I wanted to tell could be told. And I could pay tribute to the siege mentality at the heart of many of Carpenter’s films.
I still have a chunk of plotting to do, and there are still gaps in the story wide enough to sail Jabba’s skiff through. But the heart and the spine of the story formed last week, and I can now tell you what I have planned.
It’s the sequel to last year’s tale of high adventure on the lunar plane, featuring the further adventures of Rory Armstrong and her family. We will find out (that’s not the royal we. I still don’t quite know how it’s gonna happen) where Arty the Artifact came from – and where her loyalties lie. We will find out that the villainous Van Hoek and the treacherous machine BOS-N may be down, but they’re certainly not out.
And above all, we will find out what happens when the people who built the cities under the moon come back to find their ancestral lands have been invaded.
This one is bigger, louder, crazier. I’ve got sequalitis, and it feels good.
It’s called GHOSTS OF THE MOON. And if you’re a Carpenter fan, you should now have a rough idea of what I have planned.
Strap in. It’s gonna be one heck of a ride.