Nick Thiwerspoon
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Wilde Oats



Novels



Majorca Flats

This is a story about the people who live in an Edwardian (or Federation, as it's called in Oz) terrace in Melbourne.  I'll be posting 100-200 words a day.  Bit like a cartoon strip or a soap opera.   Or Tales of the City (Armistead Maupin's wonderful series set in San Francisco).  Tales of my city, Melbourne.

It was an exercise I started to get my writing going again.  I endured some bad stuff in my life, and somehow I found I was unable to write.  I thought to myself that if I could make myself do 100 to 200 words a day, come what may, the creative juices would start flowing again.  The Artist's Way, a book about how to unleash your inner creative genius, strongly recommends that you write three foolscap page in longhand about anything which comes into your head.  By just writing, not letting your inner Critic sabotage your inner Creator, you allow Creation to burgeon.  Majorca Flats would be my equivalent of three pages of scribbles.

So I started writing my hundred-and-fifty words a day.  At first, it was hard to do. I used to do frequent word counts to see if I was anywhere near the limit.   Now I really look forward to it every day.  Now I have to do word counts because each post is too long, I'm enjoying myself so much.  And as always happens, the characters have come alive to me, and have taken control.  Part of my pleasure in writing Majorca Flats -- in fact in any of my fiction -- is that I don't know what's going to happen.  Oh, I have a vague idea.  But it's just a changeable sketch.  All the colouring, all the details are as yet undefined.  When I'm in the grip of the Muse, even I don't know what I'm going to write, how my characters are going to behave.  In an interview here in Melbourne, Armistead Maupin said pretty much the same thing about his own writing.  So I'm on the right track  ....

Almost every day I post a new Majorca Flats episode.  Those in the blog have an attached, more-or-less related image, and each blog post has a link to the next post and the one before.  So if you want pretty pics (some of which, I warn you, are not safe for work) read the story via the blog.  Every ten episodes, I upload the latest chapter here, to this site.

You can read older episodes here, and the latest episode at my blog.

ElvenSword

The first volume in the Tapestry of Life Series, and the first novel I wrote.

I began ElvenSword in my head long before I started writing it.  My lady and I, and our eldest son had been on a trip through South Africa to see it for the last time, because we were emigrating to the UK.   On the road back to Cape Town we passed through a town called Willowmore.  Now you would imagine that such a town had a river flowing through it, lined with willows.  Nope.  A dry desolation, the river bed just dust and sand.  A few miles on the other side of the sadly misnamed Willowmore, I noticed one or two wildflowers in the storm water drains next to the road.  A few miles further on, there were more.  Then we passed a few stumpy bushes, and a couple of pines, and then within a few miles, we were in a magnificent rain forest.

The idea for a great trek came into my head, a story about a man who comes to an inn in those great southern forests in the Southern Cape,  and takes the inn's boy with him.  The man is heir to the throne of a great empire, and the story was to have been how they would work out their love for each other while allowing the soon-to-be emperor the chance to produce heirs.  I even wrote a bit of it.  But I was so dissatisfied with my writing I put is aside.

Still, the idea of something like that haunted me, a story about men loving men and women, and having to do what honor and duty demanded, and the price they paid.  

A visit to Christchurch (South Island, New Zealand) which has a splendid extinct volcano right on its doorstep gave me the idea of Cappor.  And I wanted to set the story in the southern hemisphere, where it gets colder the further south you go.  The final catalyst was Lynn Flewelling's Luck in the Shadows.  I used this to see how to write a story.  The first few chapters were terrible.  But gradually I got the knack of it, and started to write better.  I rewrote those first few chapters nine or ten times -- and I'm still not happy with them!  I found, also, as countless writers have found since story-telling began, that my story evolved and changed in unexpected ways, that the characters themselves shifted and grew.  And so ElvenSword is very different to the story as I first conceived it, though you can see the underlying themes are common.

I wanted to write about a world where love happened despite gender.  I was sick of stories dominated by heterosexuals.  But I also thought that in a world where the gender of your partner really didn't matter, most people would be bisexual to some degree or another, that they would have a ceremony and and institution for same-sex marriage, and that they would have very different values to those we have.   So to complete the switch, I made it a female-dominated society, where the duchesses and queens and empresses outrank their consorts.

DemonThrong

Sequels are hard.  After all, the most interesting aspect of a novel is the way in which its characters, or at least, the protagonist, changes, in this case how Fluin assumes the mantle of his destiny ("It is your destiny", said in a portentous Star Wars tone) .  So how do you put in further changes?  Well, you can have a different protagonist or protagonists, or you can make the hero from volume one undergo further dramas and problems, while still developing his character.  Or you can show how his friends change.  I also was afraid that volume one had been too rainbow coalition.  I wanted more angst and loss and danger.  Like I said, hard!  As you read this volume of The Tapestry of Life, you will see the solutions I have chosen to this dilemma.  I hope you agree they've worked.
AngelFire

This is volume 3 of The Tapestry of Life.  I've only just started this, so what you see here is all I've written.  It's how in the end Fluin fulfills his destiny, how he tries to do what is right at great personal cost, and how in the end the Goddess rewards him.  Now you know the story, but hey, we all knew that Sam and Frodo would make it to Mt Doom!  We just didn't know how!  
Footy

My first 'contemporary' novel.

Like so many of my stories, the inspiration for it came in from somewhere odd.  I read a newspaper story that David Beckham  (the metrosexual soccer player, in case you didn't know) likes to wear his wife's thong undies.  This sexy, straight man wears lace?  So I wrote a short story about an ex Aussie (or Ozzie) rules footy player (Oz plays Ozzie rules football, soccer, and both rugby league and rugby union)  who is straight (and wears his wife's lacy thongs).  He finds he has no friends when he's no longer a football player.  Except one.  Who hates footy, and makes the mistake of falling in love with him.

The short story just kept on growing.  I grew to like all the characters so much I simply had to explore their lives  It's become a novel. This novel has ended up exploring the issues of bisexuality, of how we can have two loves, how people manage that, and how denying part of your most profound self can be lead to sorrow and pain and loss, not just for you but all those round you.   And of course, how love, the kind that seeketh not itself to please, is marvelous and healing and helps make all this work.

I also wanted to explore how sometimes love, physical -- no sexual -- can come from friendship, and how friendship can come from sex.  Tom, the footy star, connects with Adam because they are friends first.  Will connects with Sean because he picks him up in a bar.  Only afterwards does their love expand and grow into something precious.  Yet they both end up in the same place.

The Torc

This novel has a sad history.  I'd written 20,000 words, a fifth or a sixth of the complete story, when my laptop was stolen.  The backup disks were with the laptop -- I'd never thought of theft, just of hard disk failure.  Bleagh.  For a long time I couldn't even face the story, but recently I've had a re-look at it.  I like it a lot.  The whole story is blocked out and ready to go.  Somebody said that the story is reminiscent of Tanya Huff's The Fire Stone, and if it is, I am honored, because she is one of my favorite authors and that is one of my favorite books.  The story is set in the same world as the Tapestry of Life trilogy, but with different characters.     But I've finally gotten back to it, and have started posting new chapters.

I Get no Kick from Champagne

This was my third novel (though I hadn't finished DemonThrong when I wrote it)  It was my most confident novel to date.  I knew more or less exactly how I was going to write it,  I was confident about character and story development and dialogue, and it just flowed from my 'pen' taking only three months to write.  I grew so fond of all the characters that when I'd finished it I felt a real sense of loss.  Champagne was my 'crossover' novel.  It is an urban fantasy, a story set in Melbourne, but also in a fantasy kingdom.    It explores issues that fascinate me -- how men grow up, how love varies with the person you love, yet is still love, how you can deeply wrong people and yet still turn away from the dark side.  I got a blast writing this.  I hope you get as much fun reading it.

Zing Went the Strings of my Heart

This is another novel I haven't finished.  But it's not forgotten!  It's a sort-of-sequel to Champagne.  It's about the outsiders in Melbourne -- the were creatures, the wizards, the aliens, the vampires.  But it's also about the lonely, all those who don't fit in.  And naturally, it's about love.

Gift of Dragons

My first SF novel.  I wrote this for Melissa Scott's novel writing program.  Wow!  It was such a pleasure to work with her.  For those who don't know, she's a major alternate-sexuality SF and fantasy author.  This story is about 1/3 written, but again, it's definitely not forgotten, and I'm girding my loins to finish it.  It's a first contact novel, a tale about how humans 50 years from now find their first extra-terrestrial civilization.  And what lessons it holds for Earth, and for our own culture.

The Music of Love 

A het romance with a gay character, partly written, set in a country town in Victoria

The Musketeers

Four guys share a house.  One of them is gay, the other straight.  Well, straight-ish.

The Café Budapest

A story about a café in a small country town, its owner and the people who come to visit.

Parringo Road

A man goes back to the country town he grew up in and the boy, now man, he was in love with.

Heaven is a Pair of Wooden Wings

A stranger turns up at Jake Fribourg's farm, a stranger with a deadly secret.   And Jake loses his heart and finds out too late he shouldn't have.

 Black and Deep Desires

This is a thriller written by my lady.  

The story is set in a village we lived in for a few years in Norfolk.  My lady attempted to get it published with twenty different publishers, and not one took it, despite it being at least as good as P.D. James.  Yeah, I know, perhaps I'm biassed, but I will tell you that I read the typescript in one go, staying up till four am, and the next day was a work day!

She got so discouraged by these rejections that she more or less gave up writing.  She and I are cooperating on a hetero romance (The Music of Love) targeted at the Mills & Boon (Harlequin) market, and also on a couple of gay-shaded stories including Parringo Road, about a man who goes back to his home town and the love of his life.  She is an invaluable editor of my work, and what style I have is due to her influence and teaching.  I wish she would start writing in earnest again, though. 


Darkness fell. It was always darker in the maze. The high hedges held in the shadows, kept out sunlight and sound. Time stood still in the silent corridors that led into each other, led to nowhere. The blindfolded child, dumb with terror, felt his way along the prickly walls with soft white starfish hands.










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