I have just finished the final edit of The Bicycle-Wheel Genius. PDMI may not be ready for another novel from me, but it is ready for an editor or beta reader to be looking at it. I will not be making any further changes because of my perception of the shape, style, and meaning of the novel. I need input to proceed. I need to advance to publication.
This novel is about a lot of things. It is science fiction. It is a time-travel and alien-contact story. But the thing it is really about, theme-wise, is friendship. It is about the friends we need, the friends we have, what makes a friend, and how you treat a friend. It is about love. It is about love that has nothing to do with sex. It is about love between boys and girls, about love between boys and other boys, about love between a man who has lost his wife and son and a boy who has lost his best friend, and even about the love between family members who love each other even when they disagree and don’t like each other very much. It is also about love between a boy and his rabbit and how it changes when the rabbit is turned into a rabbit-man by the time machine.
Okay, part of the reason that all sounds so terribly complex, is because of the structure I adopted for this novel. This novel is a unique sort of sequel to Catch a Falling Star. I call it a Prequel-Equal-Sequel because it takes place before, during, and after the events of the other book. The primary characters are also different. The main protagonists in the first book are only minor supporting characters in this book. The supporting characters from Catch a Falling Star, the inventor and bicycle-wheel engineer Orben Wallace, and his next-door neighbor boy, Timothy Kellogg (also the grand and glorious and ludicrously uproarious leader of the Norwall Pirates, a small-town liars club of country boys), have become the protagonists.
Re-reading and editing, though, has caused me to think that it actually a very good story. I know that it is not as good a piece of writing as either Snow Babies or Magical Miss Morgan, but it has a very significant part to play in the over-all story arc of my home-town novels. It develops critical characters like the two protagonists, Mike Murphy, Blueberry Bates, Cudgel Murphy, Mary and her daughter Dilsey Murphy, and, of course, Valerie Clarke. So, this is a sort of celebratory post. I have finished another project and must now move on to the phase where I must try to get it published and publicized, packaged and promoted.