It may have taken about fifty years for ‘Go set a Watchman’ to be published, because of Harper Lee’s uncertainties!
It has also taken an awfully long time for ‘Miriam’s Hex’ to be published too.
This is the story behind the book.
About two years ago (2013) while having a household de-clutter I found an old cardboard folder in a box in my loft.
This folder contained many poems I had written in the late 1970’s & 1980’s. Many were hand scribbled, most were type-written, yes I did say type-written!
Also in this folder were notes for use in, or as, ‘possible and potential’ stories, old abandoned writings, half started tales, partial paragraphs and such like. It really was a rather eclectic combination of various scribblings.
I was filled with personal wonderment as I read these sheets of yellowing paper. Here were my thoughts, my emotions, my ideas of a lifetime ago.
Some of the writings and poetry I recalled instantly, others staggered out from the mists of amnesia. I was amused by some, horrified by others; the amateur nature, the naivety, the bad grammar and miss-spellings made me cringe.
All however, transported me back to another time, another world, another life which was connected yet somehow detached from myself. It was partially like an out-of-body experience, but somehow more so while being less direct, less united. Possibly that is the effect of passing years?
Bunched at the back of this folder was a wad of A4 sheets held together by a rusting paperclip. I started to read, it was an untitled story. A light hearted black comedy, if that is at all possible, of selfishness, of greed, impatience and latent curses.
Despite the many changes, the crossing-out’s and the pencilled notes the story drew me in, as I read through small pinpricks of memory began to seep back. This was a story, one of the few I had written at that time, which had a beginning, a middle and an end. (Although throughout there were still many threadbare patches).
You see, I first scribbled out a rough draft of a storyline in 1978, according the dates on the draft. This (first?) draft had no title and no end. In 1980 I reviewed and re-wrote it, apparently! (I found a few margin notes to confirm this), although I cannot recall doing so. This time is when I added the final few paragraphs so there was now an ending…of sorts.
It was thirty five years later, after I had become a professional writer and published author, I rediscovered this early work, first started when I was in my late teens.
At first I simply returned it to the folder, the archives if you wish. But something was nagging at me. It was that this story was, in fact pretty good, it was something different, there was an originality about it.
So I pulled the manuscript from the dusty cardboard folder once more and began, letter by letter, word by word, to type it onto the computer, to re-write certain parts, to edit and eventually to complete the story. All the time I was doing the re-write I was conscious of not changing the basic story, not to expand or cut too much. I wanted, needed to keep the piece as close to the original draft as possible while making it readable.
Once I was as happy as I was ever going to be, I gave the work a title for the first time. I called it Miriam’s Hex.
In November 2014, thirty six years from its conception, I self-published Miriam’s Hex as an eBook.
Miriam’s Hex is a very long short story! A Novelette of twenty two pages.
It is a story I would like you to read, not only because I am certain you will enjoy it, but because of this story, the story behind the book.
I hope that it will not only add a provenance to Miriam’s Hex, but will lend encouragement to all the writers among you who, at times, have doubts and worries about their own works and capabilities.
Thank you for reading my story.
As a bigger thank you I have reduced the price of Miriam’s Hex to just .99pence/cents (plus any applicable taxes!), so please feel free to download and enjoy. Just put this ASIN: B00PM249TO into your search bar or go to any Amazon site worldwide.
Now there is a ‘SPECIAL EDITION’ of Miriam’s Hex, one that includes this story too!
The Special edition is ONLY available directly from me through my website
Just click on this cover image.
I am also open to feedback and comments about this post, Miriam’s Hex or any of my other books, my blogs or anything you want to discuss.
Simply email me!