The last four chapters of House Hunt, the next Jack & Gareth story, are kicking my butt. That’s not a reason for panic. A year ago, the last four chapters of Job Hunt were doing exactly the same.
I think that’s pretty much par for the course when I’m writing suspense. Finding all the spanners I’ve thrown into the works and making sure they’re tidied away. Tying up all loose ends. Making sure the right people are dead and stay that way… Most of all, making sure Jack doesn’t turn into superman and that Nico and Daniel have had dinner.
When the Muse isn’t cooperating – or is off doing stuff in the back of my head as she is right now – I get random cravings to re-read books.
This morning, I suddenly realised that I hadn’t read The Leopard on Kilimanjaro by Olga Larionova in a long time. Long time in this case has to be at least 15 years, but there I was remembering lines and bits of dialogue and stepping into my book closet trying to locate the very battered maroon paperback.
In case you’ve never come across that book, its premise is very simple: you can choose to find out the year of your death.
Would you do it or would you choose to live as we always have, largely ignorant of future events? And if you did go and find out – what would you do with that knowledge? Would you tell others or keep it to yourself? How would you spend the time left to you, especially in that final year – since you only know the year, not the exact day?
I didn’t need to read the story again in the end. Just remembering the book brought it all back to me. The people who decided not to find out. The ones who did. And the girl who died aged 18 saving someone else.
And if that bit of reminiscing doesn’t kickstart the Muse into sorting out the end of House Hunt, then we’re in dire straits indeed.