Now we’re talking. All the build-up of the journey east leads to this chapter. Hopefully it was worth the wait.

I should probably talk about that opening scene. That wasn’t planned. The first line I wrote for this chapter was Kay moaning about the freighter journey, and how uneventful it had been. That then made me think it could be fun to have her wistfully imagine what might have been. I liked the idea, but decided to switch it around so that the chapter opened with the dream, presented with a straight face before the reveal.

This does mean, of course, that I’ve actually written something which “was all a dream!”, but hey. I think it was worth it.

I’ve been asked by a few people whether it would be weird to write a romance scene from the point of view of a female character. But, really, it’s no more or less awkward than writing such a scene from male perspective. If it works in the story and for the characters, then that’s fine. The assumption is that it must be peculiar to write about Kay’s thoughts and urges, given that I’m a straight man. The crucial thing, though, is that I’m not roleplaying as Kay, or imagining myself to be her. If I did that, then she’d just end up being me in a woman’s body, which would be a writing failure. I hope that Kay comes across as a distinct character. If I write a romance scene, she’s the one enjoying herself, not me, the writer.

In ‘Hive’ I get to imagine Future Hong Kong, which actually isn’t all that different to 21st Century Hong Kong, given that it’s already a city which is infused with a Blade Runner-esque vibe. I’ve not been there for fifteen years, something I should do something about soon, but it’s always had a unique feel due to its peculiar heritage, which makes it perfect for the culture-mash-up that’s at the heart of A Day of Faces.

The location of the Hive is based on a restaurant my dad always spoke about from when he worked out there, which was located on a random floor of a parking garage. The kind of place you wouldn’t know was there unless you were taken, but which served the best food in town. I figure that the Hive wouldn’t have to go to too much trouble to hide, because the nature of the city is that anything can disappear into it.

Then, of course, there’s that last line. Which at this point is pretty ambiguous and could go all sorts of ways. I knew Simons was going to be reappearing – that’s been part of the plan for a while, hence keeping him out of the Interludes – but the precise nature of his entrance I hadn’t quite decided upon until I got to it.

This chapter positions the pieces on the board in time for the big finale.

Soundtrack: Deus Ex Human Revolution, specifically the Hengsha stuff.


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