Well, it's been a ridiculously long time since I wrote here, so whilst I avoid doing more damage to the top of my head in this baking heat, I thought it was way past time that I did actually put something down.
I'm hoping that no news is good news, because there isn't a fat lot to announce just yet. What I can say is that I am just about on the home stretch of the BrainDump draft of the new book. This is the draft that probably doesn't even deserve to be called the first draft, given that it is pretty much just a stream of consciousness from start to end, with me writing as I go to see where the story ends up. I have to admit, this is still pretty fun. I've seen a few (infinitely more experienced) writers talk about the pleasure they have finding that they've written themselves into a corner, and then having to cook up an interesting way of writing themselves out of it again. I had a very frustrating few days stuck on the very last part of the draft, but I think I've gotten somewhere that I can be happy with. Of course, this is all subject to change, as I'll probably end up flapping a butterfly's wings in an early chapter and then having to contend with its hurricane in one of the closing ones.
It's a completely different type of story for me after two books with the Graces. It started, as they all do, with a snapshot idea of one particular scene, and then, using that as a pebble in the water, seeing how far the water ripples out. But this story has one foot in another of my passions - folklore - and hopefully some other themes that come to play as well. We'll see what people think of it, when I have finally cleaned its face with a damp hanky, ruffled its hair, and sent it out into the world. The photo with this blog is one of the touchstones for the story, if you like, taken in the woods just behind my parents house back home.
Following on from my last blog, it's been fascinating getting feedback in for NO SAFE PLACE. By making the first book free (despite Amazon and its pesky algorithms best efforts) I've drummed up a fair bit of interest in it, and from that, a goodly amount of feedback. Broadly, people seem to enjoy it, which is a great feeling, though I would be a complete fraud if I didn't admit to finding my eyes drawn to the feedback that, shall we say, skews somewhat more negatively. I've two favourites - the first one bemoaned some of the language I used, brilliantly saying I "seemed to suffer from some sort of pleonasm diarrhoea" and the second, well, I'll say no more, and just post it as is.
So, I'm still here, and still going, and with a fair wind, I'll hopefully get the new book out in a few months. I think you're all lovely, and definitely not like those rotters handing out one-star reviews like they're Caligula or something...