First off, I have no real idea what inspired me to call this one “The March Society”. The idea that a music journalist wouldn’t see the name and immediately think of John Philip Souza and other purveyors of vaguely military-style pieces in two-four time is nonsense. Second, the idea that someone who was opera mad wouldn’t question that either is a bit silly. I can only hope that people will assume the character is either changing the name of it and it originally had nothing to do with the word “March”, or that the narrator has chosen to skip over that no doubt hilarious misunderstanding.

I actually started writing this one on the Monday, which is early for me. It’s a story idea I’d had years ago, at least the first part: the idea of something hideous, so sinister looking you can imagine it haunting Lovecraft’s nightmares, and yet all it wants to do is to sing, and you listen to its amazing, pure, delicious voice and suddenly all the other singers you’ve ever known and loved sound like ashes in your mouth and you can’t stand them any more is like catnip to me. But the question I didn’t have resolved in my mind was how to end it? I’d thought about having the society break up, be exposed… in the end, something so pure just wasn’t made for this world. (Did I really write that? Maybe I’ve got a career writing Mills and Boon beckoning…)

Having written the first half on the Monday night, I succumbed to a dangerous air of smugness and security. Meaning that Saturday evening, having not written another word, I found the half-written story like a reheated steak that’s just a little past its best: chewy, tough, and difficult to swallow. Having written it through, I read it and found that actually, I wasn’t too unhappy with it.

Of course, I woke up the next morning thinking “wait – didn’t I just write that story last week?” Indeed I did, alas. Well, sort of, anyway. There’s definitely very strong parallels with this and Leo’s Last Stand.

Ah well. Let’s see if I can get through this next week without one of my characters dying. I haven’t done a body count on this project yet, but I suspect it’s pretty high so far.

The post “Behind The Scenes: The March Society” first appeared on and is Copyright © Simon Collis 2018. All rights reserved.

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