No Way Home

Featuring the novellas
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No Way Home Paperback and eBook by L. A. Davenport available now on Amazon, Kindle, Apple Books, Google Play, and Kobo
Collection

Love, loss, and the eternal quest for acceptance

A teenage girl desperate for reconciliation with her absent father. A woman manipulated into thinking she is insane. A dystopian future where unhealthiness is punishable by death. The unrequited love of a young shop assistant. An intimate journey into London's kaleidoscope heart. The wedding dream of a dying solider far from home.

Thought-provoking, poignant and thrilling, No Way Home is a collection by L. A. Davenport, author of the novel Escape and the short story collection Dear Lucifer and Other Stories, featuring the novellas Screen Grab, Deathcast, Stations of the Soul, and more.

Reviews

“. . . an intense thrill ride . . . a wonderful collection of thrilling stories5-star reviews

Background

It was while choosing the pieces for my collection Dear Lucifer and Other Stories that I became interested in trawling through the rest of my work to put together another collection, although this time with fewer but much more substantial and developed stories.

The natural starting point was the years in between creating The Marching Band Emporium blog and starting on my novel Escape, during which I worked on lots of scripts with a close friend, writing everything from short films to TV dramas to features, and covering a whole range of genres and styles.

Of course, none of them got made, or even picked up. The over-caution and conservatism of the studios and the current realities of distribution mean that the chances of having someone green light a script, no matter how strong the idea, is next to zero if you don’t have a proven track record. Actually, it’s just zero. The problem of course is that you can’t get that precious proven track record until you’ve had something made. Chicken or egg, anyone?

I digress.

During this period of ultimately fruitless but extremely enjoyable, instructive and very hard work, I learned the disciplines of plotting, structure, and character and scene building. It was a crash course in story telling, and the scripts that we worked on together were, by and large, pretty good, if I say so myself. But if they weren’t to be picked up and made, what was I to do with them?

After some soul searching, and then experiencing the pleasure of putting together Dear Lucifer and Other Stories, I decided that would use some of these scripts to form the basis of a new collection: No Way Home.

I explain the genesis of Screen Grab, Deathcast, and Stations of the Soul separately, but here I take you through the other stories in the book.

The White Room initially started out as a script for a short film that my friend and I entered into a competition for South London filmmakers. For that, we had to write the script, work out how it would be filmed, come up with locations, budget the whole thing and identify a producer and convince them to work on it with us.

We didn’t win, but it was a brilliant exercise in understanding the possibilities and limitations of filmmaking, as well as how to develop what had been a brief story satirising modern advertising to a fully developed piece exploring sanity and identity in the modern world.

Turning it into a story for No Way Home was a pleasure, and allowed me to expand on the themes, as well as make the story more focused.

Cut Out and Keep came out of a conversation I had with two other friends, during which we decided that we wanted to make a short film together. We bounced around some ideas and I came up with the basics of the scenario, in which we saw the germ of something potentially interesting.

I quickly wrote it up into a script and started to think about locations, but life events intervened, as they so often do, and our trio was reduced by a third when one of us moved away. The impetus was lost, but when I returned to it for No Way Home, I still loved the idea and immediately wanted to include it.

The Lake is one the only times that I have been directly inspired by music. I am, and shall always be, a huge fan of The Cure, and The Same Deep Water As You from the album Disintegration is, for me, a masterpiece. At some point while listening to the song, I did a search online and found a debate about it. One user wrote that they associate the song with the 1975 Soviet film The Cranes Are Flying.

They write: “The film starts with a young love between boris and veronika. eventually, boris is sent off to the front and is eventually killed. the moment when he's killed, he is thinking about veronika and even imagines a wedding. the location of his death involves a forest and a makeshift lake formed by the rain. those images and that moment made me think of ‘the same deep water as you’ instantly.”

I haven’t seen the film, but I found it such a powerful image that I wanted to write about it.

And why call the collection No Way Home? For me, each of the stories is a journey, both towards something but also away from a place, a feeling or a state of mind. Each of the characters is challenged, and they rise to it or are subsumed by it. Either way, they are changed irrevocably. It is during such a process that we realise that we can never get back to how we were before, whether we want to or not. There is no way back, no way home.
© L. A. Davenport 2020.