Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been very conscious that I haven’t posted much to my blog. To be fair, even those posts have been sharing information from other places – a book review was one, but also details of how to help a fellow author, blogger and – most importantly – friend who was facing a tough time. As it was her funeral this week, I suppose referring to her situation as a ‘tough time’ is something of an understatement. I suspect she’d smile at that.

Indirectly, her mortality has acted as an additional driver to me. As I see my 60th birthday getting closer (not that close, but close enough), and aware of family, friends and acquaintances experiencing health problems, my own mortality is increasingly a concern. Not because I have any specific reason to be worried I’ll be shuffling off this mortal coil any time soon. More the fact that I can see it happening with increasing frequency – and sometimes little or no warning – to people I know. So I’ve been knuckling down more and doing what I want to with my life.

Time is precious for a variety of reasons, and certain things have had to take a back seat. Adding posts to my blog has been one of those. Writing a novel hasn’t. With two already out there for your delight and delectation, I could relax, but there are a lot more to come – provided I make the time and write the bloody things.

I’ve just completed the third draft of my latest. This will be the first of a series. I never wanted to write a series, but the concept for this one came to me a year or so ago and, while I wrestled with getting Carrion completed, I found it wouldn’t let go. I also didn’t want to write in the first person. Third person offers a lot more scope for getting into the heads of the characters, and the ability to flick from a scene with one character to a different scene with another can build up more momentum. So I prefer to write in third person. But the protagonist for this series didn’t feel right unless I told the story from inside his head.

So it’s been a challenge, but an enjoyable one, and I’m taking a few days away from it now to let it settle before I have a last read-through to make sure I’ve not left any glaring plot holes.

Which brings me back to the blog. One of the things I’d started to do more of over the last year or so is book reviews. I have a small pile of books on the desk in front of me at the moment and I’m well overdue reporting on those. While I give the novel time to breathe, I’ll get on and write those reviews. And maybe I’ll write about other things too. If you’ve been missing anything – pining for those Gigging Years, missing the Gogglebox – or just want to know more about my writing plans, feel free to put in requests. No promises, but I’ll do what I can.