Wishing everyone a very happy, if very belated, New Year! Let’s all hope that 2021 will be a great improvement on 2020.
Christmas is now a distant memory of course and, inevitably, it was a lot more subdued than usual. I have, however, been able to go out on some lovely, if chilly, walks. Here I am on a local walk in the grounds of the home of Agatha Christie’s sister, Madge. Agatha was a frequent visitor to the house, Abney Hall, and it was the inspiration for many of the country houses in her books. Since lockdown it’s been one of my favourite local walks, made even more attractive by its crime fiction connections.
The writing’s going well but I’m not finding it easy in the present circumstances. I was really pleased to hear Anthony Horowitz (a writer I greatly admire) being interviewed on the BBC. His experience of the present situation exactly mirrored my own. Even though everyone assumes you’ll have more time for writing, the reality is that you feel unsettled and distracted so things that used to take a day to do now take a week.
Having said that, I have managed to write. I’ve completed the first draft of a stand alone book but this has been put on the back burner for a while to allow me to begin Wesley’s next enquiry (and conduct a lot of research into Roman Devon). Once I’ve completed Wesley’s twenty sixth case (I can’t believe I’ve written so many) I’ll pick up the stand alone again but I won’t say anything about it yet. It’s good to do something completely different from time to time as it keeps your writing fresh.
Talking of writing something different, I love to write short stories and I’ve just had one accepted for the prestigious Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in the States (entitled ‘Next Door’) although I don’t yet know when this will appear in print.
I’m delighted to say that the third and final book in my historical Albert Lincoln trilogy, THE HOUSE OF THE HANGED WOMAN, has been really well received and I’m looking forward to the paperback publication in May – only three months to go!
The other big news is that the lovely and atmospheric cover for THE STONE CHAMBER, Wesley Peterson’s brand new case (his twenty fifth) has been revealed by my publisher. The publication date is in August – and here’s the cover! Great isn’t it!