The Challenges of Writing Another Life

My speculative fiction novel, Another Life, combines themes of family life, myths and legends, a quest and cutting-edge science. These elements are introduced in a natural, uncomplicated way, avoiding technical explanations, so as not to alienate the reader. 

To bring these disparate elements together, I had to overcome several challenges, the biggest being how to link my protagonist’s ordinary family life to the myths and legends associated with the Green Man. I addressed this through the medium of a quest to find a woman from the past whom the protagonist gradually discovers to have links to pagan beliefs.

The border between dreams and reality is a key theme in Another Life, requiring care, to avoid confusing the reader. There is the suggestion that something on the edge of the supernatural may be involved. It was essential to limit this to no more than a possibility in the mind of the reader. I’m not interested in writing pure fantasy – the story has to be grounded in reality: the possibility that the weirdest of events has a rational explanation. This was important, too, in creating a hidden community in Middle England, where the normal rules do not apply. I addressed this using a combination of geography and historical fact. 

Finally, the resolution: how to explain the mysteries and strange events encountered by the protagonist. Two-thirds of the way through the book the reader encounters a major change that makes sense of what comes before. The challenge was not to create this solution, as it was the basic premise on which the book is built, but to execute it coherently. 

Find out more by reading Another Life, published by Burton Mayers Books.