Introducing my new novel!
I’ve been chained to the computer since I got back from holiday, working on yet another revision of my new novel. Finally, it feels as if it might be coming together, so I thought it might be time to post the opening. I was partly spurred on by a photo that popped up on Facebook – more in a moment!
The Broken Road
If Ollie had been a lark, things would have been different. He envied larks: the glow of sainthood flooded their lives. They caught the worm; they got things done. If Ollie had been a lark, he’d have been up hours before his mobile buzzed at nine o’clock. He’d already have been for a run, dashed off half a dozen paintings, and made breakfast for Jess and Flo. But Ollie was an owl, not a lark, so he reached a hand from under the duvet, slammed the phone into silence and went back to sleep.
He was sorting through the paintings stacked in the hallway when it rang again. He let himself dream of good news. That new gallery in Highgate might be offering him an exhibition. Or there was a chance the American customer had come good and wanted to commission more of his Hampstead Heath scenes. He studied the painting in his hands: an avenue of lime trees in Alexandra Park. Haloes of sunshine pierced the canopy of leaves, spreading a lacework of light on the path below. He’d painted it during a brief period of inspiration last summer. Jess had loved it: ‘Hey, that’s good!’ she said. ‘You’ve got your magic back.’ She’d kissed him, the sort of kiss she used to give him when they first met.
A dog barked in the street below. A hacking, insistent noise, like a consumptive’s cough. It dragged him away from that summer day made forever idyllic by his painting. Traffic noise from the Holloway Road rumbled through the open window in the kitchen; a magpie screeched in the gardens behind the flats. The mobile had stopped, but rang again almost straight away. He propped the picture in front of the others and ran into the bedroom, snatching the phone from the chest of drawers.
Having read the second paragraph, imagine my surprise – and delight – when this photo was posted on Facebook by Helena Halme (who did an MA at Bath Spa the year before me).
Ollie’s trees!Tags: Alexandra Palce, Trees