All three sections of Mary Weston’s short novel The Junction, as published in The Reader 31, 32 and 33, are now available to download – for free! – from The Reader Organisation website.
The Junction tells the story of Captain Peter Scott, paralysed and dying of a nervous disorder, just as the First World War is coming to an end. After losing consciousness in the Mawdsley Hospital Peter wakes to find himself in a mysterious village called The Junction, where he encounters intense recollections from his past. Curiously, the inhabitants of The Junction seem to have been expecting him…
In Mary’s own words:
The thought behind this story came to me when I was in the Wallasey tunnel, on my way to one of my Get into Reading groups, in the summer of 2005. I don’t know where it came from, or what to call it – an intuition, delusion, realisation or fantasy.
The idea was that if there was an afterlife, most of the stuff that I think of as me wouldn’t get there. Even the most spiritual-seeming parts of myself are rooted in the psycho-physical being that’s going to end when I die. If there’s anything more to me…would I even know what it was?
The good thing about writing fiction is that it means you don’t have to translate ideas like that into a world view or religious belief – you can just make a story around it. Originally The Junction was a 70,000 word long novel. In 2007, Phil Davis asked me to turn it into a three to five episode serial. At first I thought I would be able to do it by condensing and cutting. It was his advice to stop the first episode where it stops now that made me understand the whole shape of the story was going to have to change – this taught me more about plot than anything else I’d ever heard or read.