The next of my stories to be released will be Bonfire Blues. It’s the third part of the Diamonds collection of Short Stories and is actually a prequel to Bewilder and Heart over Head over Heels. The story is a recounting of how Scott Drake and Rebecca Blake first met and came to be separated, until the night described in Heart over Head over Heels.
Bonfire Blues is a story that means quite a lot to me personally. Not so much in terms of the subject matter – love and death, hedonism, nostalgia – It has become a kind of retelling of my very early twenties and not a very honest one.
The strange thing about Bonfire Blues is that I actually wrote a lot of the story when I was eighteen, with the plan of making it into a low budget film. For years it was a story (with various different titles, none of which resembled the one it has now) that existed in the background, semi-finished but not right (or not even right enough for my liking). I always liked the basic story and the characters but could never find any way of getting it to be what I wanted in the form it was in.
It wasn’t until years later that I decided it might work better as a short story. It was probably calming down and drinking a little less socially that helped me see that, and also made me reflect on things that Scott Drake talks about in the story. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t still pretty awful though, and it took a guiding hand from a very kind man named Denis Pye, to advise me on its faults and those of my other stories.
Turns out, there was too much description. Too many words. And since then I’ve tried to pare back my excesses and write in a more simple, poetic way and leave the rest for the reader to create themselves.
Of course, I can’t really say if I’ve managed to do that completely successfully but I’ve managed to do it well enough for me to accept and release these stories. And for now that’s enough.