At last I’ve got round to catching up with my diary. However, I have an excuse for the delay, the best excuse of all in fact. I’ve finished a new book and started writing another (along with another extremely exciting event that I’ll reveal later).
First of all I’ve been itching to say something about my brand new project but I had to maintain my silence until I received the go ahead from my agent and my publisher. Now everything is definite and my brand new stand alone (well, I say stand alone but it could very well develop into a trilogy) is going to be published, although I haven’t got a date yet. I’m really excited about it as it’s a completely new departure for me, entirely different from both of my regular series. It tells the story of a Scotland Yard detective wounded in the Great War who is summoned to a small Derbyshire village in 1919 to investigate a series of bizarre murders. The book’s called A HIGH MORTALITY OF DOVES and I can promise my readers some stunning surprises! Watch this space.
Even though I’ve branched out, Wesley won’t be neglected. Having finished THE HOUSE OF EYES, I’ve just started work on his next case but, as with all first drafts, it can only be described as terrible ‘pig’s breakfast’ at the moment (full of inconsistencies and dead ends). To all aspiring writers who despair when their work seems to be going wrong, I’d give this piece of advice – don’t worry if your first draft’s rubbish (most people’s are!) because a first draft is only the raw material you can then work on and rewrite until it’s reshaped into a book you’re happy with. Then give it to an honest reader who’ll probably see things you missed...then rewrite it again a couple of times before you finally send it off. I rewrite all my books about five or six times before they’re ‘fit for human consumption’. Ernest Hemingway said ‘writing is rewriting’ and he was absolutely right.
As well as writing I’ve been busy visiting libraries and bookshops. As well as signing copies of THE DEATH SEASON at various local bookshops, I’ve visited wonderful libraries in Mansfield and Thorne where I received a very warm welcome. I also spend a few lovely days up in Northumberland visiting Killingworth and North Shields Libraries. I enjoyed the North East so much (and the fantastic libraries I visited) that I hope to go back next year. While I was up there I managed to visit Alnwick and Bamburgh Castles and Holy Island (where the strange moaning cries of the seals provided a suitably sinister soundtrack). On the way home I treated myself to a visit to Vindolanda on Hadrian’s Wall where the famous Vindolanda tablets (http://www.vindolanda.com/roman-vindolanda/writing-tablets) were found, giving an insight into the everyday life of the people stationed up there on the edge of the Roman Empire. It was a thrilling visit and a must for any archaeology lover!
In November I’m going to speak to students in Crewe about the process of writing on the 18th and on the 24th I’m in York for a discussion on crime fiction with fellow writer Mari Hannah (see my Events page for details). I’m really looking forward to visiting one of my favourite cities again.
In my first paragraph I mentioned exciting events...and I’ve kept the most exciting until last. My first grandchild (a gorgeous little girl called Eloise) was born a couple of weeks ago. Nothing can beat that!!!