It’s been a while since I last wrote. I blame lockdown, personally. Is it just me, or did the first months of 2021 feel like wading through treacle in ill-fitting, uncomfortable welly-boots?
Still, it’s spring, and although the sun’s not shining at the moment, it has been until recently, which has definitely helped. Even more excitingly, I’ve got some book news!
The Skua – Coming 2022 (Sandstone Press)
About four years ago, I started work on a book that was insanely hard to write. It covered some difficult topics; notably mental health, and the dangers of ignoring people who need support.
I got to about 60,000 words, then stopped, because it wasn’t working. All writers know the feeling; that sickening sinking in your stomach, when you realise you’ve invested a lot of time into something that isn’t paying off. So, I shelved it, for the time being.
About six months later, I realised what needed to be done with it, so rewrote the whole thing. I managed to nearly get to the end this time, before losing my nerve entirely. After all, it was so DARK compared to my Dr Ribero books! What would people think? Would they presume I was writing about my own experiences? Would they judge me accordingly?
I kept going back to it, and kept losing my nerve, time and time again. Then, I watched The Joker (a great film, if you haven’t seen it). At that moment, I felt like leaping onto the cinema seat and shouting “that’s it! That’s the message I’m trying to convey”!
I managed to finish the book after that, then lost my bottle again, and stashed it away for another few months. Finally, at the start of the first lockdown, I managed to summon up the confidence to start editing. Six months later, it was finally in good enough shape to send to my agent, Greg.
Fast-forward a few months, and we’re here – the book has found a home! I’m extremely excited, as this time it’s my side of the Atlantic, and with Sandstone Press, who are fantastic publishers. All going to plan, it should be released at some point in the middle of 2022. It’s also written under a pseudonym, to keep it separate from my other, rather more light-hearted books. I’ll keep you posted!
The final Dr Ribero book – Coming 2022 (Chicago Review Press)
The fifth Dr Ribero book is now written, and should be released in 2022 (again, around the middle of the year, I think).
This one was bitter-sweet to write. When you’re working on a series, it’s easy to get immersed in the characters, and saying goodbye was a wrench! Naturally, I’ve put Kester through his paces as usual, as I seem to enjoy torturing him in every book. Poor lad – it’s fortunate he’s not real, isn’t it?