Being as I am in that awkward space that a writer finds themself in, of having finished writing the one novel but not yet having started the next, my mind is, as I begin to read and revise Mr Tumnal, turning to the next story.
That next story will be, I think, a follow up to The End Of All Worlds. Now when I was writing that book I didn’t think there would be another and so consequently I wrote the story free from any thoughts of what might come next. If course I knew that all the characters had stories to go on – I just didn’t think I would be writing them. After my return to Iceland last year the seeds for a follow-up came into mind. Indeed, whilst driving the south coast back to Reykjavik I did start to compose soon me earlier scenes that I then had to write down.
In The End Of All Worlds there are some powerful locations, and one of them is the old farm cum telegraph exchange. Sadly, this is the date that befell that location…
Gunnlaugr stood on the road above Hanna Katla Baldursdóttir’s family home. Below him, he watched the house and the flames that burnt within. As he watched the roof collapsed inwards on itself and the house exploded. Sparks flew and metalwork twisted, warped and melted. The svart-alfar retreated, away from the carnage that was left at the head of the valley. Gunnlaugr smiled, thinly.
I’m now finding that I am referring burning down this house, to the point that I have been pondering whether I should consider a minor require of the story to leave it in a reader, vandalized state rather than a burnt out shell.
I have pondered this a lot today. I can’t do it. Whilst I can correct spelling and grammar and formatting errors, I can’t require the story now it’s “out there”. However I think I have a solution. There is another location. The old farm that burnt down is actually the newer of two old farms. There is also the turf-roofed house. I’m thinking that the insurance from the destroyed farm together with selling the plot enables the farm – which actually means much more – to be restored by the family. I’m liking this solution.