The above picture by John PF heralds the publication of the first chapter of my new novel Crystal Passion. It’s a fourteen chapter novel about a British band of musicians who in the 1990s go on tour in America.
There are several notable things about Crystal Passion. One is that the band has rather a lot of members and that all of them, including Crystal Passion herself, are women. Another is that, in this story, Crystal Passion is now posthumously very famous and well-respected whereas at the time of the tour they were virtually unknown, even in the UK.
The novel is partly about how fame and fortune can elude musicians at the peak of their productive life, as it has for Nick Drake, Rodriguez and Robert Johnson, but also about the mythologising of artists’ lives and reputations. The novel is also about the 1990s and that period of time just before the internet, mobile phones and the music industry took its modern shape. And, of course, it is about the differences between Britain and America, which is at least as pronounced now as it was in the 1990s.
It also gives me an opportunity to write a novel full of musical references where I can throw in my more personal experiences and opinions. It is some kind of companion piece to my short stories Creamfields, Excess and How HIgh the Moon, though I deliberately avoid making the Crystal Passion’s music Dance, Rock or Jazz.
The novel is notable for being written in the first person which is very unusual for me. With the exception of Omega and I Remember Erewhon, I’ve mostly written in the third person. My view is that there has to be a good reason to write a story from the first person perspective, because it is deliberately very limiting and it also opens up fiction to the trope of the unreliable narrator which can sometimes be a good thing and sometimes not. In the case of Crystal Passion the narrator is Pebbles, the band’s keyboard player, and the reason for writing in the first person is that it gives an opportunity to couch the story exclusively from her point of view and allow her prejudices slant the narrative in one direction rather than another.
I’ve posted the first chapter of the novel to my website and also to Literotica and Stories OnLine. Although I think it’s a pretty good novel (I would say that), I don’t expect it’ll be a firm favourite on either site. That was far more likely to happen to the Anomaly Trilogy and my various Sex Fantasies, but I live in the hope that some of the regular readers might enjoy Crystal Passion.