• Another cat in the bag!

    08 September 2010

    Wrapped up the first draft of the new book today -- which, for those of you who haven't been paying VERY close attention, is book 7 of a new series which will hopefully see print at some point after the Mr Crepsley Saga finishes. And no, I can't tell you anything more about it at this point in time, as it's still very much a work in progress. What I can say, as I've said before, is that each book is a slim volume, smaller than anything else I've published, though not that much smaller than any of the Vampire Mountain trilogy. My hope is to release them quicker than usual, in a rush -- I'm plotting them like serials of long ago, where you'd read a chunk of a novel, then have to wait a short while for the next chunk to be released. In a way, The Saga and The Demonata were serials too, but there were self-contained movements within those series (e.g. the Vampire Mountain trilogy linked up with the other books, but was also a self-contained storyline in its own right). In this instance, apart from one or two books where we get to pause for breath a little, it's the same story firing all the way through, and most volumes end with a big cliffhanger -- when complete, it's meant to be read in one frantic, hurried rush!!!

    I had a structural poser late in the day, as I was finishing up work on book 7. I'm at a point of the story where there's going to be a big fight scene. I had planned to start book 8 with the battle, but as I drew towards the end of this book, I started to think that maybe I should put it here instead. I wavered and hesitated and considered -- and then just went with my first gut instinct, which is usually right!! The good thing is that I have plenty of time to go back and tinker with it and change things round if I want. So if, next year, when I've written the next few volumes and am going through the series and editing all the books, I decide that I would rather place the fight scene at the end of the 7th, than I can just juggle things around. That's the massive bonus of giving yourself plenty of time as a writer. I don't think young authors always realise that not having a contract when you're starting out is actually a very valuable and liberating thing. Once you sign up with a publisher and tie yourself to a schedule (especially if you want to work on a series) then time can very easily slip away from you. Before you know it, your publication deadline is looming and you have to rush to meet it. You cut corners and don't give yourself enough time to edit a book until you're 100% happy with it. And then it's published and it's too late to go back and change it. I've managed, over the years, to get well ahead of my publication schedule -- it's why I'm working on a book today that won't be published for at least another 3 or 4 years. It might seem insane, starting a book so far ahead of when it's due to be released, but that gives me all the time I need to go through the books over and over and over again, tweak them if needed, switching events around if I have to, and give myself every opportunity to deliver the best damn books to my public that I can.

    It's a lot of hard work, and it's a tricky business juggling so many books around over such a long period of time, buy you know what? You guys are worth it!!!!

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