– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The Seventh Train’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tour.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, Jackie Carreira, but b
About the Author :
Jackie Carreira is a writer, designer, musician and co-founder of QuirkHouse Theatre Company. British-born of Portuguese parents, she grew up in East London and lived for a while in Lisbon as a child. After travelling the world playing music for 12 years, she hung up her bass guitar and picked up a pen. She’s been writing ever since and twice been a winner of the Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama. Some of her plays are available online via lazybeescripts.co.uk. If Jackie could have another life, she would be a full-time philosopher and get paid to ask questions all day.
What if you can’t stand where you are because there’s nothing there? What if you don’t want to end up anywhere else in case that’s empty too? When life has lost its road map, sometimes the only way to get back on track is to get back on the rails.
The Seventh Train is a ride – a ‘road movie’ on the railways. It’s a journey that Elizabeth invented; the only original thought she has ever had in her previously uneventful life. Unbeknown to her, she is not travelling alone. If only she’d pretended that the spare seat was taken.
With a wonderfully eclectic cast of characters, The Seventh Train takes its passengers on a journey from the tragic to the strange, arriving finally at hope. By turns heart-breaking, thought-provoking and hilarious, this tale is a life-affirming exploration of the human spirit via the British railway timetable!
“Ingenious, great fun, and wholly original”
– Fay Weldon CBE, on The Seventh Train
Guest Post :
Second Novel, Seventh Train, One Lifetime
Writing a first novel – at least, in my experience – was a bit like getting my first tattoo: very moreish! As soon as the scabs had healed, I was eagerly hunting for the next thing to be inked into my skin. And thus, soon after the first copies of my debut novel, Sleeping Through War, were released into the world, I was itching (enough skin analogies!) to get on with writing the second one.
Before I decided to become a full-time writer (like some crazy person), I earned my living as a musician (like a slightly crazier person but with cooler friends!). In the music business, there’s often a lot of talk about the ‘tricky second album.’ They say that it takes your whole life to write your first great bunch of songs and put them all together. Then, if it’s a success, the pressure to do it all again is huge, and the second album can often end up featuring either songs that didn’t make it the first time, or those that were knocked out in a hurry. Is it the same with novels?
Music was a big part of my life for many years, and I often find myself comparing the life of a musician to the life of a writer. So, I thought about this a lot once I’d finished writing The Seventh Train. I worried that I might fall into a ‘quick follow-up’ trap. There are lots of examples of dodgy second albums from brilliant bands, but what about books? Most of us writers are riddled with ridiculous self-doubt on a regular basis. It’s a cliché, but it’s true! I needed some reassurance. Luckily, I found some…
There are lots of great examples of second books that made me feel a whole lot better. For example: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (her first novel to be published, but actually the second that she wrote), One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ulysses by James Joyce, plus one of my favourite books of all time – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. All of these were second novels and, arguably, all classics. There are many more.
So, why the difference between music and books? The conclusion I’ve come to is that a novel is NOT an album…it’s a SONG! It’s one song in the first album of a writer’s life. Some authors may only get to write ‘Track 1′. For some, that might be all they need to do. But for many, like myself, there’s a whole album in there with at least ten tracks, plus a couple of re-mixes, and all of them have taken my whole life.
A bit over-poetic, perhaps, but I know that my second novel had been in me at least as long as the first one was. And now that The Seventh Train has been released into the wild, there’s a third and a fourth itching to get written. And as for tattoos? Well, I’ve got three so far. It must be time for a little more ink!
The Magic of Wor(l)ds