With the publication of Black Hearts Rising just over a week away, I wanted to talk a little about what readers can expect from the story. I don’t want to talk in too much detail because I am wary of spoiling the plot, so instead, I will talk more about the format of the book as opposed to the plot itself.
Those who have read Monkey Arkwright, the first in my Wardens of the Black Heart trilogy, will be aware that the main protagonists are a couple of teenagers – Lorna Bryson and Monkey Arkwright – and they are pitted against the dastardly Charles Gooch, who works on behalf of the aforementioned Wardens. Black Hearts Rising continues to explore this rivalry. Whilst the first book was written almost entirely from Lorna’s point of view, I’ve changed things a little for the upcoming story.
Charles Gooch had a single third-person chapter in Monkey Arkwright, and I enjoyed writing this chapter so much that I wanted to make him a point-of-view character in Black Hearts Rising. This decision also helps with the flow of the story, as there are things that Lorna and Monkey clearly cannot know about, and seeing things through Gooch’s eyes helps broaden the story. It’s probably a 75% / 25% split in terms of first-person Lorna to third-person Gooch, but I hope that I’ve done it in a way that feels convincing. I’ve read some books where the author freely switches between first and third-person multiple times in a chapter, and I’ve got to be honest, I don’t like this at all. In my case, I never switch viewpoints in a chapter – each time Gooch has his say, it’s in a new chapter. I believe that this is the best way to handle different perspectives, regardless of whether they are first or third-person.
In Black Hearts Rising, readers are going to find out a fair bit about our old friend Mr Gooch – a whole lotta Gooch, you might say – and I hope that this alternative viewpoint will enhance your enjoyment of the story. Once again, I really enjoyed writing his character; his cynical world-weary voice works as a nice counterpoint to Lorna’s. He more than earns his place on the book’s cover, although due to the constraints of stock photography, he appears a little younger.
Plenty of the characters from the first book will be returning, with a handful of others making their first appearance in the story. There’s Lorna’s new history teacher, Victoria Halfpenny; Big Sal, who is an associate of Gooch; Daniel Turnbull, a man who helped to make Gooch what he is; and also, the mysterious Dylan Fogg. I hope that I’m going to surprise readers with my new book, taking the story in an interesting direction in a narrative that combines the best elements of the first book with some new revelations. Lorna will solve puzzles, Monkey will climb, Gooch will scheme, and long-hidden secrets will be revealed. In short, I hope that you’ll be entertained.
I want to finish this article by making a pact with my audience (hello, is there anybody there? I’ll assume for the sake of my sanity that there is). Here’s my side of the deal: I’m sticking to my plan of keeping the story as a trilogy. I absolutely guarantee you that there will be no fourth book. Nor will there be a last-minute change of plan where I claim that I couldn’t fit the remainder of the story in one book. Are we good with that? If so, here’s your side of the deal, my dear reader: remember that Black Hearts Rising is the middle volume in the trilogy. It contains a complete story, but don’t expect a “tea and cakes” ending. I should explain: this is my term for a story (film, TV or book) where everybody sits down around a table at the end, slaps each other on the back and congratulates themselves on wrapping everything up neatly. In TV programmes, such a scene is usually accompanied by some syrupy music or an overly-jaunty saxophone solo. That doesn’t happen here – there is more to come, and the ending reflects that.
If you have pre-ordered Black Hearts Rising, I thank you for your continued support and hope that you enjoy the story. If you haven’t, then you can pre-order HERE. The book is released on 1st February 2019.
If you are a first-time reader of my blog and the above words have whet your appetite, you’ll need to read Monkey Arkwright first, or else the sequel won’t make too much sense. As a thank-you for visiting my website, I’ll reward you by informing you that Monkey Arkwright will be FREE to download from Amazon between 4th and 6th February 2019. (If you just can’t wait, it’s only £0.99 / $0.99 HERE).
See how good I am to my readers?