Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pemberley House Status Report

After a series of fits and starts over the two years since Mike and I discovered the partial manuscript, mostly complete outline, and associated notes in PJF's basement, I am finally writing in earnest.

First came the OCR conversion of the chapters that PJF wrote, and cleanup of the text. Them came a comparison of the information in the chapters, the outline, and the notes. All of this was also compared to the WNF as PJF finally had it in TA and DS:HAL. I made decisions in order to ensure that continuity and the WNF genealogies were not violated. I also had to clarify how the Curse worked, how it was passed from family member to family member, and quadruple check the genealogy to make sure our heroine was actually subject to the Curse! (Believe me, the background work on all this was a lot more complex than this short paragraph makes it sound.)

Then there was the question of the eroticism in the novel. I prefer not to change any of PJF's original words in the ms., wherever I can avoid it. So that's how I'm writing it, at least for now. I may get different direction later and then I'll have to go back and revise the ms. from R-rated to PG-13. We'll see, but for now, this is the course I've decided upon.

After being sidetracked for almost a year to do the Crossovers book, I returned to PH in late summer this year and finished the outline at the beginning of August, the night before leaving for Archon 31/FarmerCon II, in fact. The outline was about 3/4 complete. The last 1/4 was more notes and ideas than a true outline, but there was certainly enough there that I can confidently say that I did not make up any of the major plot directions or resolutions.

Next, I finished the first incomplete chapter . It was quite difficult getting started on this, since the ms. ends mid-chapter, mid-sentence. I wonder how PJF would have finished that sentence?

I've now added 5 additional chapters, and last night passed a mental hurdle. The word count has now more than doubled from Phil's original ms.

Okay, with all the posts tonight, my intent was to cover the state of the project past-to-present. Going forward, I will post occasional progress updates and samples, if anyone wants them, but there will not be a flood of posts as there was tonight.

Thanks for being here.

Pemberley House Family Tree

Lest everyone think that my interest in The Evil in Pemberley House (PH) is centered solely on hot women (although it does come from PJF's erotic novel era, after all), let me reassure you that I have done real research and scholarship in preparation. Here is a family tree graphic (click on it for a larger, readable version) which reconciles the information in PH with the family trees in Tarzan Alive (TA) and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life. Yes, there were a few contradictions, which required some decisions to make everything synch up. The chapters and outline appear to have been written before PJF solidified his final WNF genealogy in TA. Also, this chart helps me keep track of the descent of the Pemberley House estate, as well as the descent of the "Pemberley Curse," both of which are central plot points in the novel.

* Rick, I am aware that this chart does not reflect your theory from "The Secret History of Captain Nemo" which has Prof. Moriarty father as Dr. James Noel rather than Sir. William Clayton. I accept your revision of the family tree, but for purposes of this chart, some version of which I intend to be in the PH book, I have left the tree as PJF originally had it. The purpose of this is to not confuse readers who may have only DS:HAL and have not read your essay online or in MYTHS.

Doc Wildman's Fabulous Family

By our very own Chuck Loridans, from "Doc Wildman: Out of Time" in Farmerphile no. 6.
Doc's aides on the left, 1930s. His wife Adélaïde on the right in the trenchcoat, and their daughter Patricia in the lower right, 1970s.
I will soon be proudly hanging the original artwork in my basement. Thanks Chuck!

Adélaïde Lupin Wildman (Patricia's mother)

Yes, I am aware that this is really a picture of Angelina Jolie. This is how I picture Adélaïde.
Sue me.

Doctor James Clarke Wildman, Jr. (Patricia's father)


Welcome, everyone, to a blog for providing updates on the progress on The Evil in Pemberley House. This is an easy way for me to communicate with all of you, post excerpts, solicit feedback, and so on.

Of course, no one is under any obligation to read excerpts, and some of you may prefer to wait for the finished product, as it were. That's fine and my feeling won't be hurt (although I may occasionally be in real need of input and feedback, in which case I'll be sure to make that known, with the understanding that time constraints and real life still may interfere with responses -- fair enough?).

So, that's why we're here, I'm glad you've joined, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Patricia Wildman, c. Spring 1973

Patricia Wildman, with Pemberley House in the background. The amazing Keith Howell whipped this up for me, based on my verbal descriptions. Now I've written a scene in the book which mirrors this pretty closely.

Click on the picture to open a larger version in a new window, for full effect. ;-)