Two Friends

Well it’s done.

Printed (don’t ask me) and sent for the first read. Pretty nervous. However, I find there is not just joy in finishing it. I have written something quite worth reading, I reckon. As I like to think, I’m onto something.

The subject matter started with my family. Started thinking of it and actually had a go in 1979. Research began 1993 with a trip to Indonesia. Several interviews with my father before that but none of it used—in this one, anyway.

It did not remain with my family. For a long time (is it really forty-four years?) I struggled with facts and historical accuracy. Now I’ve read enough and seen enough to think I’ve had a respectable go at the history; that’s just labour, but the real breakthrough was not trying to tell the story of my family at all. Just inspire a story. Otherwise, it’s history—which is fine, but I’m no historian. I am a storyteller.

I can’t help thinking that perhaps I ought to pick another title. Then I think, nah.

One small reason, apart from the fact that the title is utterly appropriate, and that an editor may still have a say in the matter, is that the novel I wrote before Two Friends was Three Friends. Don’t worry, I don’t have One Friend in mind, yet. (It is possible, but I have thought of a much, much better title for the WIP and the novel I excerpted earlier on this site is called Written on the Golden Page.)

The “friends” thing is no coincidence, or gimmick. Finally, I started thinking about what I’ve written, and if there is anything I am actually writing about without knowing it. The thinking goes like this. Deep thought is a little pretentious in someone like me, suburban boy without a degree, believing writers need to have a job besides writing, to correct the lack of observation and formula writing I see, as much in myself as the genres I’ve traversed.

It turns out what I’ve been on about is friendship. My homelife, I always took as a mess, and now that it’s not a mess, it’s not worth writing about. So, friends have always been my joy and sorrow.

All my novels were really about making friends, some lovers, some betrayers, some just a gang of fools. So here is a title in which “friends” and “two” mean something. Here is doubling; here is enmity; company; hilarity; separation—making friends.

So there we have it: begun as biographical historical; now it’s an historical fantasy. Hope you can read it soon.