I recently finished the sixth draft of my next book Forty Shades of Green, and when I went to save it, I got a message saying, basically, that it couldn’t be saved because it was infected. Be fore I lost the entire document, I managed to copy it and paste it into notebook, so at least I saved the raw text.
I’ve started on the seventh draft, and I’m doing it longhand, and I’d forgotten how enjoyable that it – no flickering screen, no tapping keys, just the flow of a hand across the page.
Anyway, here’s the new beginning for Forty Shades of Green.
Frank Moran stood 6’2’’ in the mirror; his hair reflected the same Elvis-black it had since he was seventeen. With one eye on the gallery of bald ancestors on the wall behind, Frank checked his own hairline, and then he stood back. He quickly turned and turned again to check his clothes. Did they pass the JBT? The James Bond Test – when in doubt, always ask yourself, ‘What would James Bond Do?’ They did; now he was ready; that readiness gave weight to his mussels. He trembled like a first night actor in a play. He always did. But this wasn’t a play, or a movie, he wanted to be in, at least not in this place – never in this place. He had been there three days now, and had yet to go into town. All necessary arrangements having been made over the phone, he went straight from the airport to the house. The taxi journey became an education in the brilliance of Steven Seagal movies. Frank made appropriate noises at appropriate moments. An hour later he arrived at his childhood home with a new appreciation for both Steven Seagal and the world he had left behind. He found a key to the backdoor under a flowerpot, and let himself into the house.
At the sound of a car outside, Frank turned his face to the window, but the curtains were drawn; not that it mattered, his father had recently covered the glass with tin foil so he could sleep in a more complete darkness. Frank listened as the car stopped. It was time. He closed his eyes and took a breath – in through the nose, out through the mouth – to centre himself. And again. He checked his reflection one last time.
‘Looking good,’ he said. ‘You can do this.’ He nodded his head.