Mixed emotions

January 5, 2015 at 12:36 pm

This week has been a real up and down week for me as an author.

First of all, I realised afresh just how difficult it can be to find an original idea. Another friend has seen the trailer for the upcoming movie by the Wachowksis, Jupiter Ascending, and instantly recognised its similarity to The Heir. I knew all about it, of course, but now that it’s soon to be released, it hit me afresh that they may well have massive success with an idea that I thought would work pretty well, especially as a movie. There’s no suggestion, of course, that they stole the idea from me. That the Wachowskis would even know of The Heir‘s existence is unlikely. They received the first draft of this movie while I was writing the first draft of The Heir and pre-production began two months before The Heir was published. It’s all above board. We just happened on the same idea around the same time and one of us has a big studio and a huge publicity machine and one of us … doesn’t.

The most difficult thing to deal with about this is the fact that most people who are introduced to my books in the future and compare it with Jupiter Ascending won’t even think to check the publication date. They’ll just assume I copied the movie, especially since I’m the ‘little guy’. That’s what bothers me most about it. I don’t want to be seen as the one who copied them. I didn’t do that. I had an idea and I used it to create what I believe is a wonderful story, spanning over three different books. But I know that won’t be what most people see. I wish I could stamp ‘published in June 2013’ on the front of the book, just so everyone is clear on that.

After a day of reflection on all this, I continued reading over my new manuscript, tentatively titled How Far Forgive. I was pleased to note that I really enjoyed it. That may seem a strange thing to say if you’re a reader; wouldn’t I be expected to like my own book? Why would I write it if I didn’t like it? But authors a strange, emotive creatures. We go from loving our story to despising it sometimes within a few hours. And there I was, enjoying what I’d written. It was a good sign.

By the end of the read-through, I was happy enough with it that I think my work is done on it … for the moment. We’ll see what happens in the next leg of the journey – submission. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂