6011.7 – a new novel

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I’ve recently written a novel solely aimed at adults called 6011.7. This is exciting new territory for me, and award-winning publisher Unbound have taken on. The idea is to crowdfund the book initially, which has advantages and disadvantages. I intend to write a post focusing on this approach to publishing very soon.

The novel is about love, hate and Dada. Quite a trio. This is unlike anything I’ve written previously, so please don’t back or buy this if you are expecting something along the lines of my other books; 6011.7 most definitely contains strong language and adult themes.

From the beginning I wanted 6011.7 to have a distinctive look and feel; I’ve always enjoyed epistolary novels because they have a directness, intimacy and tension all of their own, so I quickly settled on this as a style. I really enjoy wrapping novels in ephemera and photographs to bring them to life, and to blur the boundaries between fact and fiction; with 6011.7 this will require quite a bit of work when it comes to artworking every page (yes, every gorgeous page, as each will be unique down to the smudges and mottling… and you can never have enough mottling in my opinion). I want readers to know they are buying something markedly different from all of the other lovely books shouting: ’Buy me. No BUY ME! No, no, BUY ME!’.

The story’s narrative revolves around an expedition to hunt for mythical sea creatures in 1921. In the planning stages, the monsters had been very much plot motive, not character motive. I hasten to add my novel isn’t anything like a Ridley Scott film. When I started to write, the characters’ personal monsters expanded into very fruitful territory: how their hidden daemons had influenced their lives and relationships. This was, for the most part, more interesting than writing chase scenes with big Kraken-sized beasts… although you can’t have a monster hunt without monsters, so I needed to find a way to accommodate and satisfy this aspect of the book.

I’ve always loved Dada, and had included it as a theme in a small way from the first draft. This was one of the most enjoyable parts of finding the book’s drive and direction. I have often worried that Dada lurks in Surrealism’s shadow, and yet to my mind it was far more dynamic and innovative; I could see a very attractive connection between Dada and the absurd challenge of hunting for mythical sea monsters.

The irrational qualities of Dada chimed with the script more and more as the story developed. I’ve found love and relationships can be at times absurd, rude, funny, and irrational, so these parallels were fascinating to work with. Dadaism grew in the book like ivy, and overtook all aspects of the story, giving it a direction, a very distinctive look and an overarching theme. It’s an illusive artistic movement at the best of times, and yet it was a surprisingly firm structure on which to build a novel.

I hope will be a very unusual and beautifully packaged book if I managed to raise enough interest through crowdfunding. There are no guarantees I will make the target: if I don’t the book won’t happen. If you are interested, you can find out more at the link below, where there is also a video of me discussing the book:
https://unbound.com/books/6011-7

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Beautiful Titan – my new novel

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First of all, this novel is long overdue. I’m sorry. You should try being an author! It’s a slow and tricky business.

Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh on myself. My first novel Operation Red Jericho was published almost exactly ten years ago, so five novels in ten years is not too shameful.

I’m really proud of Beautiful Titan. I had the idea about five years ago, and the story has been through several incarnations since. I hope that if you download it, you’ll enjoy it as much as my other books. I have set up a standalone website where I talk about the story, and you can get the link to Amazon, or click on the image above. There is even a trailer, handcrafted by me, with CGI action sequences no less:

http://beautifultitan.com/

BACKGROUND TO THE NOVEL:

I did a majority of the writing in Switzerland over the winter of 2012-13, and it took about 6 months to complete. At the time, my wife and I were living in an apartment up a very steep hill (as you’d expect), in a village with a name like a Star Trek baddie (Klingnau). I have to say that not a huge amount happens in Klingnau apart from a very good wine festival in October, so it has very few distractions.

We weren’t near the mountains but on clear days in the spring and autumn we could see the Alps from our balcony. Alas, most of the time we couldn’t see the Alps. In fact, most of the time the most distracting landmark was the cooling tower of a nuclear power plant the Swiss have built as close to the German border as they could possibly get it!

(Here are some pics of Klingnau to set the scene)

 

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As with all freshly written books, you don’t know if they are any good. I appointed a very good editor, and his input sharpened the detail, but he agreed the plot was essentially there and functioning well. It was quite a departure in style from my earlier novels, so for the first time I sent the manuscript out to a wide selection of friends to be read and critiqued. I’ve never done this before. It was an anxious moment. However, the reaction was extremely encouraging so I thought it was worth publishing.

The book is for a slightly older age group than my previous books, and is for a YA 16+ readership.

Let me know what you think.

Joshua Mowll

http://beautifultitan.com/