Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Black River Latest, A Savage Generation Updates, and Other Vague News

Ah, writing!  You'll have months of trudging, just trying to hit the next deadline, months of getting lost in a project, months when nothing much comes along and it feels like nothing might ever again, and then suddenly everything kicks off all at once and just won't stop.  That's certainly what's been happening in recent weeks, in a mostly good (but also baffling and exhausting!) fashion.

Much of that comes down to the Black River books, and the fact that my clumsy scheduling left me getting the third ready for publication while writing the first draft of the fourth and final book.  On that initial front, the news is all good; expect Eye of the Observer out somewhere around the end of this month or start of June.  And as for book four - boy, first drafts, huh?  They're always an adventure.  To be honest, it ought to have been finished by now, and the reason it isn't is partly that I got distracted by another project demanding my immediate attention (see below) and partly that I've gone way over my intended word count.  Like, entire chapters over!  Basically my chapter plan held good until somewhere around the four fifths point and then exploded, meaning I had to go back to the drawing board for the big climax and  that all bets were off about what amount of space it was liable to fit in.

If you've never written a novel, this probably sounds disastrous, and if you have written a novel, it probably still sounds a bit alarming, but actually it's all fine and under control.  I'll be done in a day or two, unless the last chapter somehow turns into fifteen or something, and while there's a lot of cutting needed, I'd always rather that than get to the end realising I'm missing crucial sections.  More to the point, the core of the book feels solid, and that's the big thing, right?  It's not what I saw in my head when I set out yet, but the central elements are there, doing roughly the right things in roughly the right places.  It's going to come together in the second draft, I know it, and in the meantime, there are already significant chunks I'm pretty happy with.  Black River four is, in short, moving in the right direction.

And that distraction I mentioned?  That would be getting the edits through for A Savage Generation, my second Flame Tree Publishing thriller.  They weren't altogether fun, but they were productive, and as always I was reminded of just how proud I am of the book, which feels completely different to anything else I've written in ways I can barely get my head around.  If you happen to be a reviewer, you can already find an advance copy up on Netgalley here, and the book itself will be out in September.

But all of this news is quite specific, isn't it?  And I promised vagueness in the title, didn't I?  Okay, how about we wrap up with me saying that in the last month I've signed contracts with two separate publishers, one for a novella and another for a novel?  But that I'm not at liberty yet to say what books or what publishers?  That's pretty vague, right?  Yeah, that ought to do it.

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