So, instead of rambling at you today, I offer the first few paragraphs of my new novel, at the moment tentatively titled CLOCKWORK. I began this yesterday, in a burst of inspiration courtesy of a steampunk-ish art print (more on that later), and I don't know where it's going to go yet or whether it will, in fact, go anywhere, but I suppose that's the exciting part about writing!
Here it is. Think of the story pitched as 'an unlikely bargain is struck between a girl with a clockwork heart and a boy who finds things.'
I climbed out of the taxi and wished the week would end. Now. This very instant. It had been, oh, interminably long. And full. Things had moved so quickly. On Monday, I’d killed my grandmother because she had asked me to. On Tuesday, I’d attended her funeral. Wednesday, I’d learned that she had left nearly all her money to my uncle Robert, better known to high society as Lord Fallow, and I was now on the cusp of penniless. On Thursday, Lord Fallow had informed me ever so politely that he wished ‘his dearest aunt and niece’ to leave our home, now his. And just earlier today, Friday, I’d given Lord Fallow’s valet a broken nose.
It really wasn’t my fault. What kind of man loomed around kitchen corners in the half-light of dawn and didn’t bother to shout out in warning? With no other implement handy, I had grabbed the nearest frying pan and hit him. Full in the face. The end result of which was a hefty doctor’s bill in Lord Fallow’s hands, a wounded valet, and a demand that I leave the house immediately.
What was more, my heart had stopped four times in the week already. Not once, not twice, not three times, but four. I’d never known it to wind down so fast. It was obviously time for drastic action.
I closed my eyes as the taxi left. If I listened hard, I could hear it, the sound that kept me company late at night. The ticking, in my chest. Tick, tock, tick, tock, on and on it went.
I opened my eyes and turned to look at Great-Aunty Rose, the only real family I had left, who stood unsteadily on the pavement next to me, her umbrella in one hand, her gloves in the other and her pistol in her handbag. She was never at her best on her feet. Old age and everything. Her expression was pursed and prim, and her merry eyes gazed reproachfully at me.
Note: the novel's not actually steampunk. It's urban fantasy, set in the future sometime, during the reign of Queen Victoria II. Yes, you read right. A re-Victorian age.