Wednesday 31 May 2023

Out-take from Masquerade on the Riviera

 When you are working though a book with your editor there are scenes that don't make it - the book is too long, there is too much description, this scene doesn't work - there are all sorts of reasons. In the case of Masquerade on the Riviera there were a couple of places where my editor felt that background was slowing up the action. I murdered some darlings and she was much happier. It always hurts though, when things end up on the cutting room floor.  For this week's blog I thought you might like to read a couple of the outtakes. No real spoilers, just a couple of places where there was originally more. The first is a paragraph about some of the dates Masie and Elliot went on. I was sad to loose it, as I'd researched places I thought they might go. 

The second is a fuller version of the scene where Masie visits Elliott's flat - Saturday date night. An edited version is still in the book, but originally it was a little longer. 

Hope you enjoy them. 

1st extract

"Last week they’d visited the farmers market in the old Green Park station in Bristol on Saturday, coming back to Elliot’s place to cook what they had bought. On Sunday they’d found a pop-up antique fair in a comunity hall around the corner from Elliot’s flat. Elliott had bought a pair of heavy brass candlesticks for the mantelpiece in his bedroom and they’d made love by candlelight. A few weeks before that they’d got up at an ungodly hour to watch the hot air balloons take off at the fiesta at the Ashton Court Estate. They’d spent an illicit weekday afternoon off wandering around the Abbey like tourists and eating buns in Sally Lunn’s teashop. There had been an evening at a book launch for a member of the university’s History Department, and another at a poetry slam, but there had also been evenings binge-watching box sets in front of the TV. Both of them had a weakness for action films full of explosions and car chases.

They talked about all sorts of things, sometimes they didn’t talk at all and sometimes it was simply whispering in the dark."

2nd extract

        "Maisie wandered around the large open plan space. The furnishings were what she might have expected – modern but not minimalist, constructed on generous lines. Dark wood floors and pale upholstery and a couple of moody seascapes on the walls with a row of photographs of archaeological digs in Egypt – the distant pyramids in the background were the clue. The small display on what was probably an original mantel shelf included a scroll and a rock, a piece of carved masonry and a small sleek statue of a god – black wood and gilt with an animal head – a long snout and pointed ears. The collar around the statue’s neck reminded her of the Necklace.

Inevitably she was drawn to the high windows. This close to the centre of town there was no view to speak of, but the leaves of the street trees made a splash of green, echoed in the simple green blinds. Deep pink geraniums spilled off a tiny metal Juliette balcony. Somewhere close there was a sound of a saxophone playing, something familiar that she couldn’t quite recognise. The breeze blew in the music, the scent of garlic and baking bread, and a very slight undertone of traffic fumes.

Summer in the city.

Maisie leaned against the window frame, looking down at the street. She turned and smiled when Elliott brought her a chilled glass of wine and stole a quick kiss, then went back to her people-watching. There were neighbours coming home from work or laden with shopping, straggling groups of tourists, couples on the way out for an evening on the town. It was good to be part of it. At heart she was a city girl. She liked the people, the buzz, the movement.

‘Dinner is served.’ Elliott had laid a small table next to the kitchen alcove. Maisie let out a deep sigh as she walked over to take a seat. She was relaxed, except for that little tingle of awareness that was always there between her and Elliot. With this man she didn’t have to be anything. You can just be."

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