The answer has to be yes.
Both proposals are in and I am now in that limbo where I wait anxiously.
In the meantime, I have been reading a great deal, ploughing my way through an adult fantasy trilogy by Fiona McIntosh, and quite a few YA books, including Suzanne Collins’ much vaunted The Hunger Games and Janni Lee Simner’s Bones of Faerie.
The Hunger Games got me thinking about first person narratives. I have used this POV in short stories right at the beginning of my career as a writer and in my Dear Canada An Ocean Apart but had never used it in a novel length work until I was writing The Disappearance, the novel I completed just before Christmas.
I like it for its immediacy, for the way in which in the hands of a good writer you become that character for the time you are reading. It can present problems, and it really did for me withThe Hunger Games.
The basic premise of the book is that in a future post-apocalyptic America, the Capitol controls the twelve districts and once a year, each district send two of its teenagers to compete in the Hunger Games – a fight to the death with the sole survivor earning wealth for themselves and for their district. The book is from the point of view of Catniss, one of the representatives of District 12, and that’s where I have the problem. If she is telling the story, we know she survives and therefore must be the the winner. We just don’t know how she survives and whom she kills along the way. It destroyed any suspense from the outset and I struggled to remain interested. I am surprised that I haven’t come across this point made about the book in any of the reviews of it I’ve read.
It’s got me worrying about The Disappearance, and wondering whether I have done something similar. The book opens with Mike, a sixteen year old, being interviewed by the police about the disappearance of another teenager, Jacob Hubert. He has remained silent up until now, but has decided to start talking, only he’s not sure what he’s going to say, and the rest of the book is his internal monologue as he reviews what actually happened and tries to work out if there is any way he can tell it so that he will be believed. At the end of the book, he loops back to the beginning and starts talking, leaving the reader to decide what the effect of this will be. Does this generate enough tension I wonder to keep people reading?
PS Bones of Faerie is also in the first person and is just wonderful!