It’s an odd admission, I know. But I’m a little bit scared of starting work on my next book.
Entitled Unborn, it’s a near-future dystopian thriller about a woman who finds herself on the wrong side of US abortion laws. And her punishment must fit the crime…
It’s based on a storyline that originally appeared in A House Divided and which I removed on the advice of an editor who said I’d effectively written two books.
And it takes place in an institution where women who have had illegal abortions are punished for their crimes.
I’m not going to say much more – I don’t want to spoil it. But I am genuinely nervous about writing this one.
I started writing A House Divided fifteen years before it was published. I included storylines that I thought were ridiculously farfetched and might stretch the credibility of the book.
But then the fictional plot lines I’d written started coming true. Trump’s government implemented Islamophobic measures which mirrored what I’d imagined ( I had to do a lot of rewriting). And where the US leads, the UK often follows. Things haven’t got as bad as I predicted in the UK – Brexit has proved to be the source of the mess here instead – but I have had people asking me to write a utopia next time instead of a dystopia.
I’m not very good at utopias. I like to write stories set in versions of the world where I take reality, and give it a little (and often very dark) twist.
So I really hope that me writing this book doesn’t result in us all waking up to find ourselves in Gilead.
And I also hope that writing the book raises awareness of the threat to reproductive rights right now, and – most importantly – gives you a good read.
I’ll keep you updated with progress on the book. I’m plotting it and working on the characters now, and will be writing it in November as part of NaNoWriMo. And then it’ll be out next Spring.
If you want to read it as I’m writing it, you can do so by becoming one of my lovely patrons. Or just wait until it’s released and you’ll get advance notice of any promotional pricing – and I’ll send you the opening chapters so you know what to expect.
It ain’t going to be pretty. Sorry.