I am in the process of wrapping up the first draft of Missed Landing. It ran into serious issues early on. (But that is a future blog topic.)
This completes a sort of “historical fiction trilogy” that started with Killing Thoreau on Walden Pond and followed by Saving Eddie. It is an enjoyable task to make the quirks and currents of history presentable.
This book is different than anything else that I’ve written. There are eleven major differences than my prior works. These include the following:
These differences include:
1) Timeframe. Although the work alludes to the past, it is set at some indefinite date in the future. (Originally it was to be 1940-1970s.)
2) Use of an unreliable and far from omniscient narrator. We clearly have a character here that has access to a vast but incomplete database. Also, she has memories of how rosy the past was. But how are false memories from tales from her mother and how much is real?
3) Life-defining issues. The lead character is grappling with overcoming loss, discerning what is truth and myth, and finding her place in the world. These are more mature themes than I have dealt with in the past.
4) Fake quotes. Each chapter starts with a snippet from an imaginary book that sets the mood.
5) Chapter titles that ask key questions. And the body of the chapter attempts to answer that query. And with each answer, we are closer to unraveling the truth.
6) Writing about a topic that I knew little about. Ballooning is an area that I haven’t delved into before so there was a lot to ramp up on. (Just like characters, the Calvez Brothers had to do.)
7) Most of the characters discussed in the book are deceased or presumed dead. And that makes it challenge for the protagonist to gather information. As the investigation gets underway, only one living character is interviewed.
8) The book uses an interesting mix of the future and visible signs of the obsolete past. Although everything is online, government offices, in-person tests and universities with physical campuses, and ballooning itself are also available if needed.
9) Ties to the late 1960s. The Gaul University protests and what happened to the Calvez brothers clearly has its antecedents with incidents of this turbulent time. This is discussed.
10) The use of triplet brothers as characters. Originally it was supposed to be twins but writing about the former was more.
11) Having a rich protagonist. The main character can purchase anything she needs except peace of mind. But she can obtain the needed tools that move her closer to reaching it.