My novel Behind the Night Bazaar turned one this week–on 5th June to be precise. During my author’s talk at the Ascot Vale Library someone in the audience asked a question that made me realise it was a year since the book was published, bringing back great memories of the launch at Readings.
It is also timely that during a random search of my notebooks recently I found what I believe are my first notes for what became Behind the Night Bazaar–though at that point it had no name and was only aspiring to be a short story. The notes are dated 11/05/99 and were written during a visit to Chiang Mai.
Inspired by my friend Helen Morgan’s photos of her early notes for Blue Mauritius, I took the above photo. Enlarged, it is clear enough to read my handwriting. Some of my original notes made it into the final publication almost untouched, such as the description of the bars behind the Night Bazaar (see pp.20-21), although Jayne’s friend ‘Troy’ became Didier. Plus I’d like to think the final version is less didactic than these notes.
Interesting that Helen’s photo/notes show her thinking about a short story at first, too. Is this because we can only dare to dream in small pieces?