The Writing of Fatal Equation by Gethyn Jones
I’ll come clean straight away. I never had any ambition to become a writer. There again, I never yearned for a career as a radio presenter – and I ended up doing that for around thirty years. However, I’m really glad that on both counts – I’ve appreciated every single moment and I’m embracing my new job title of ‘author’ very seriously indeed now that my first attempt at writing a book is in print.
Subconsciously, I feel a bit of a fraud. I’m rubbing shoulders here with people who are experienced and driven, and have taken great pride in honing their craft often over many years. Here I am popping up with a book, Fatal Equation, that was written with little regard for established, proven and professional procedures for authoring. What a cheek!
I’ll rewind a bit. As a teenager, my real ambition was to become a song writer. Like many at the time, the 60s, I was blown away by the arrival of pop music. But reality intervened and I ended up working in BBC local radio – not exactly what I’d had in mind but close enough for a while. For goodness sake – every record ever released was just a requisition form away!
I found myself in a career as a broadcaster – and far from deeming it to be a second best – I soon came to love the work. It also enabled me continue with my passion for music.
Fast forward to 2018 – many years after leaving the BBC. I started writing music again. An actor friend of mine, Ian Bartholomew (Geoff Metcalfe, Coronation Street) was guest vocalist on some of the tracks I’d by this time mastered in a professional recording studio. He suggested that I set them into some sort of context – a story perhaps. One of my songs, Fatal Equation seemed to lend itself to such an idea. At first, I began work on a TV drama treatment but soon it became very clear that a full blown novel was also a possibility.
I found myself being dragged into uncharted territory – my experience of writing in radio and TV, was a different skill set. This was the time of Covid and so I knuckled down and set to work on writing Fatal Equation, the novel. I had a very basic idea of a plot using the lyrics from the song of the same name that I’d written – a bit of a Romeo & Juliet tragedy. But I knew the publishing world and public didn’t like unhappy endings – especially from new authors. So, I’d have to soften it up.
Fatal Equation tells the story of an age gap romance that weathers a series of impossible storms to provide a tense but ultimately satisfying ending. It also appears to have ticked a few boxes along the way – although, hand on heart, that was never my intention. My characters and their behaviours are natural and certainly not shaped to satisfy any publishing company social whims. The book is unashamedly feel-good at a time in the world’s evolution – when cynicism and greed abound. I hope it’s regarded as a breath of fresh air.
I’d like to be able to say that I carefully planned writing the book. The truth is that I was blinded by the plethora of advice I’d turned up online with regard to the dos and don’t of writing a novel. And so I did what I really shouldn’t have done – against every single bit of advice out there. I just started writing using the same method I use for song writing.
I believe that writing songs is a massive leap of faith. Trust is required. Tuneless guitar doodles eventually make way for more recognisable chord shapes – out of tune warbling somehow picks out some semblance of a melody and musical phrases start to emerge. If you’re lucky a song shape plops out. Where these melodies come from is a mystery – they’re probably a distillation of a life of listening to other peoples’ efforts.
And so I applied the same technique in writing the book. I’m sure this approach is far from unique but it worked for me. I literally placed myself in front of my keyboard and let the fingers do the talking. I let go and let inspiration take me where it wanted to go. At the end of each chapter I simply asked myself where to next? And carried on typing. I applied basic literary techniques like sharpening up chapter endings afterwards. Incredibly clumsy and terribly inefficient. But so what? I was enjoying the process and at times I even found myself so engrossed in the process that I was actually crying.
Would I do it again knowing what I know now?
(c) Gethyn Jones
eBook and Paperback available from Amazon https://amzn.to/3UR6LFD
Companion six-track EP streaming and available for download https://spoti.fi/3MYyjXr
About Fatal Equation:
Love, Loyalty, Tragedy, Revenge, Forgiveness, Ambition – and Music.
It’s a pan-emotional rollercoaster …
At the tender age of 16, Ali Kurmi was cruelly exiled to the south coast by his domineering father, to protect the family name. He was never asked to return. Now in this thirties, he’s forced to work as an unofficial bailiff for his father’s property company, a job he detests. The only thing keeping him going is songwriting and DJing.
Ali invests all his cash in recording his songs, in a plan to break into the notoriously unwelcoming music business. His off-beat passion for 70s and 80s music leads him into DJ work on the corporate events circuit, where he meets and is smitten with, a beautiful, older woman.
Laura O’Brien recently inherited a fortune after the tragic death of her husband Frank, the internationally acclaimed Irish racehorse breeder. In shock, and determined to avoid returning to the bottle again, she’s left Tipperary to start afresh in Hampshire – with plans to put her new-found wealth to good use.
This unlikely couple’s happiness, and their plans to launch Ali’s music career, are soon imperilled when Ali finds himself being blackmailed by his own father – and innocently falling foul of a drugs cartel. Trouble’s brewing for Laura too, not least her unhinged and dangerous step-daughter, hell-bent on revenge – and reparation.
Fiction Meets Fact.
Order your copy online here.