With just two weeks to go until Secret Language is published** I want to introduce the four brand new stories that I’ve written for the book. With very little time these days to write all the stories I want to, I’ve been stockpiling ideas and half-begun things for years in the hope of finding the time at some point to devote to them. So, I was delighted to be able to bring The Bed, This Is Not A Love Song, Silk Bones and The Death Of Abigail Goudy to fruition for this project.
The last of these is a story I’ve had tucked away for five or six years. I wrote a page and a half and knew it was going to be difficult story to write, that I would need to put serious thought and heart into doing it justice. It’s a story whose theme of taking the opportunities life presents resonates with me in a deeply personal way; I really wanted to get it right.
Possibly ironically, The Death Of Abigail Goudy is about a composer who is terrified that she’ll never create her masterwork. Possibly even more ironically, I honestly think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. You know, sometimes when a writer finishes a piece they allow themselves a private grin, maybe a small wow that no one else hears, because they know they’ve aced it. This one time, knocked it out the park. We’re allowed that; it doesn’t happen that often. Of course, readers will make their own minds up. Some may prefer other stories. That’s allowed too. But I have no shame in telling you that of all the odd ragamuffins lined up in the pages of Secret Language, little Abigail at the end there is my favourite. I’m really bloody proud of her and I hope enjoy her too.