HOW ONE BOOK TURNED INTO A SERIES
When I started writing Transforming Pandora in the autumn of 2010, I had no idea it would turn into a series of three books. I wish I’d known, because then the information would have been included in the title. As it is, we’re trying to do it retrospectively, so apologies to readers if it came as a surprise that Squaring Circles was a sequel. Happily, the third and last book – Pandora’s Gift: Pandora Series Book Three – makes everything crystal clear.
The theme for the first in the series, Transforming Pandora, was the phoenix, symbolising Pandora’s transformation into a more fully-realised human being. I love the cover image, which shows the firebird and her egg on the ‘nest’, appearing to emerge from a woman’s head.
After Transforming Pandora was published, I wanted to crack on with something else. But Pandora kept appearing on the page, so I went with the flow and began the sequel, Squaring Circles, which starts four years later.
The cover represents Vitruvian Man, an image showing the proportions of the human body. Leonardo da Vinci produced similar illustrations, believing, like Vitruvius, that “Man is the model of the world”. Da Vinci and other mathematicians of the day spent many hours trying to construct a square with the same area as a given circle, using just a compass and ruler. That’s how the phrase ‘squaring the circle‘ came to mean: ‘attempting the impossible’.
I also think the book can be represented by an image of the Holy Grail, since that is what certain characters are seeking: some to use for healing, some to be healed, and others for more nefarious purposes.
Before I’d even thought about what I was going to write next, I noticed that a few reviewers were wondering whether Pandora and Jay’s relationship would recover or come to grief. That decided me to continue. Pandora’s Gift begins just a few months after Squaring Circles concludes, and contains the answer to that question. And much more…
At the planning stage of each book, I knew what was going to happen at the beginning and end but wasn’t sure exactly how the rest of the drama would play out. My strategy was to start a chapter and trust the characters to take over. For example, in Pandora’s Gift, something impossible occurs which even took me by surprise. And the delightful thing is, Pandora had already set it up in Squaring Circles without my even realising it!
The cover of Pandora’s Gift shows the third eye for intuition, and a woman in two minds. On the spine and back cover there is an image of a dove, representing a sacred gift. But there’s also an angel lurking within the pages, so I’m giving him a shoutout as well.
Pandora’s Gift is out on 11 December 2015 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon and other outlets.
I hope you enjoy the end of the story as much as I enjoyed writing it for you.
It was crammed with files containing the course work and notes from my BA, PGCE, DELTA (an ELT exam) and MA. Talk about a trip back in time!
I thought I’d find it hard to throw all those years of work into the recycling bin but it was easier than expected, especially as a flood of rain had seeped into some of the files, fusing pages and rusting staples.
In the end, all I kept were the BA dissertations – one on Harold Pinter and one on the comic novels of Kingsley Amis. I’ll never use them, but they’ll remind me of happy days being a student.
The garage is still host to various toys, a lawnmower, an old chair, etcetera. That garage has never contained a car in its life and probably never will. But even if the garage doesn’t feel much different, I certainly do. I didn’t realise I was holding on to something I no longer had any use for, until I let it go.
With a light heart, today I’m savouring the extra space in my home and my head.
An extract from chapter 21
‘Transforming Pandora’ is the first in the Pandora series.
‘Squaring Circles’ is the second.
‘Pandora’s Gift’, the third and final Pandora, will be available from December 11 2015.