A gentle stroll through the profusion of well-intentioned counsel available to novice novelists will not necessarily provide one with the answers sought. Moreover, I should say, it certainly will not. There is no formula.
Art will never please everyone. Not painting, design, performance or literature.
I began by being determined to disprove that immutable truth and, of course, failed and then despaired. I looked too hard for drama. I believed only the most shocking or challenging stories warranted telling. That only they could grip the reader. I’m sure, when written well, they do just that.
But they are not alone.
So, welcome to The Goose Samaritan.
Why geese? Why Scotland? And why is there a battered Land Rover on the cover?
I admit it’s not obvious. In the end, I found my inspiration from an unlikely but amusing occurrence. Amusing to me, that is. As an idea, it self-seeded and began to germinate. There were geese and the proposal for their transit was made in Scotland. The story as I tell it in The Goose Samaritan is greatly embellished. My characters are fictional though familiar, but the journey is very real.
Richard Playfair came to life because I know him. Or at least, I know many like him. He’s a decent chap. It just takes this improbable proposition to cause him to become more than that.
One of the first proof-readers asked what I wanted the story to be. Into what genre did I think it might conveniently slot. I didn’t think I could truly answer that then and I don’t believe I can now. It can be many things and about that I am rather pleased. What I can say is that there is much in the book that escaped me and that sounds both pretentious and bizarre. It’s true, however.
For instance, not until it was identified by those patient first readers did I realise that Richard’s most constant and faithful companion throughout was a Land Rover. Ancient, used and abused as many of his kin so often are. Work-worn and tired and lacking the cosset of modernity, in his unquestioning dependable ardency, is he a metaphor? You might judge him so; it was not my intention that he should be.
Do Richard’s acquaintances along the way act to somehow reconstruct him? Does he take a little from each of them in component reassembly? Possibly, although I rather thought it was the odyssey in its entirety that shaped him. Again, you can decide – that is the beauty of fiction.
I’ll not reveal too much more just now. I think the idea of this site is to whet the appetite and get you to read the book.
I’ll tell you this much. The story does not travel at one pace. Mere words cannot do justice to the wonder of the world in which it is mostly set. Read the book and travel there. I hope you find what I found.