As I polish and consider each paragraph of my second novel, I have the distinct feeling I am being watched. It’s not the commuter with whom I am sitting knee-to-knee... a tanned, silver-bearded dude in a yellow plaid shirt (at this hour!) with the Beach Boys playing so loudly on his ipod that I can hear the lyrics. It is a gaze that beams from the imperfectly closed door somewhere in the hippocampus. Behind this door a small group gathers... three so far, with a fourth gathering colour and depth. Soon this gang will become impatient. “Oi! What about us?” they will call to me.
The calls will get louder and more strident until I must begin their story...or I won’t be able to concentrate on anything else.
The state of my books is a lot like the state of my children. I have one close to launching, another still learning to put his sentences together (he’s pretty good at it, too) and taking afternoon naps. Do I feel another gathering depth and colour in some other room? Maybe...
Crisp Whites (my eldest book-child) follows New Entry Officer Course 25 through many adventures. Whether they are learning to handle weapons, fight fires, march straight or survive at sea, this tightly knit group are there for one another. Real dangers exist in the world of military training and, more than once, Nina finds herself in high risk situations.
The greatest risk, however, may be to her heart. Despite the fraternisation rules, inevitably there are crushes, chemistry and liaisons among the group – some of them wonderful and others disastrous. Despite her long marriage, Nina finds herself drawn into a completely inappropriate fascination with Adam, a nineteen year old trainee pilot. Adam is hiding a tragedy of his own and, despite his better judgement; he cannot stay away from Nina. Striving to hold him at arm’s length, she is forced to examine her own thoughts on love, marriage, obligation and joy.