Deleted Chapters from The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, H. G. Parry
Author H. G. Parry shares two deleted chapters from her debut novel, The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep. Here she explains why they were cut. Scroll down further to find out more about the book
Charley's diary entries started out being just for me, as a writing exercise, because I'd written a few early chapters and realised that while I was getting to know what Rob thought of Charley very well, I didn't have a very clear idea of what Charley thought of himself. So I started writing from his perspective, at different ages, and they ended up giving me a huge thread of the plot as well as Charley's voice and a lot of family drama. I put them in the book thinking they'd be cut, but luckily people liked them, so they stayed there. Most of them even stayed there exactly as drafted, which never happens. These were the only two that I cut.
The first, aged seven, was meant to be early in the book. From a plot point of view all it did was try to strengthen how the magic system worked, and by the end of the draft we had enough of that in play already. But I love writing Sherlock Holmes, and that opening line is one of my favourites I've ever written.
The second was supposed to set up the Jabberwock attack about halfway through, which turned out not to need the set-up. But it was really a thinly-veiled excuse to write thirteen-year-old Charley in Oxford, because I wanted to know how he felt about it, and a lot of that teenage mix of angst and wonder and self-deprecation crept through into the rest of the book anyway. Also, I will take any chance for Unsolicited Dickens Quotes.
(Meanwhile, it turned out that Rob was lying to me about what he thought about Charley. For some reason, I usually find that if a character is talking to you too easily, they're probably not telling the truth.)
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About The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep
For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can't quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob - a young lawyer with an utterly normal life - hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other.
But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world, and for once, it isn't Charley's doing. There's someone else out there who shares his powers and it's up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them - before anyone gets to The End.
H. G. Parry lives in a book-infested flat in Wellington, New Zealand, which she shares with her sister and two overactive rabbits. She holds a PhD in English literature from Victoria University of Wellington, and teaches English, film and media studies. Her short fiction has appeared in InterGalactic Medicine Show, Daily Science Fiction and small press anthologies. The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is her debut novel.