Happy Halloween!

I was thinking the other day that it feels like ages since I’ve written anything on my blog. Turns out I was right. My output this year has been even more pitiful than previous years – and that’s going some. To be fair, it doesn’t mean to say I haven’t been writing at all. So far this year, I’ve written two first drafts of novels and half of a first draft of a piece of non-fiction.

The non-fiction was initially used as a means to get me into writing mode. And it was a revelation. It’s surprising how quickly you can rack up the word count on something you know loads about and don’t have to keep pausing over as you wonder what comes next or how to leave a chapter ending on a cliff-hanger. It served its purpose, though. My writing routine become much more regular and, as my real passion is fiction, it fell by the wayside when the momentum on the novels picked up. I will go back to it, though, because I think it will be a useful handbook for some people.

As for the novels, well, there’s a story – if you’ll pardon the wordplay.

A couple of years ago, I came up with a new idea. That’s not necessarily a good thing. The idea for Ravens Gathering came to me in the late 1980s, and the basis of Carrion from telling bedtime stories to my children. Bearing in mind that my children have children of their own now, that’ll give you some indication of how long it can take for my ideas to come to fruition. And, I have to say, they weren’t the only two I had going round in my mind. At the last count, there were another thirteen, so I really need to crack on with those.

But then this new idea came to mind, and I’ll share some more about it over the coming weeks. Not now, though, because I don’t want to keep you here all day. More importantly, you’ve got better things to do. After all, those treats don’t give themselves out.

Still, it was one of those ideas that gets a hold of you and won’t let go. It was also very different in that I’d never really seen myself writing a series, especially one that’s episodic. That’s dangerous territory.  Stand-alones don’t need the reader to be familiar with the characters in advance. Most series can be read out of order without too much problem. But a story arc that spans several books, even with individual stories within each one… Well, that has the potential to be very challenging. And I’m getting a bit long in the tooth for challenges.

And yet, it didn’t let me go. So I decided to write the first three before considering what to do about getting them published. I wanted to make sure each novel could stand on its own and be entertaining. Having just read all three, I’m not sure I’m quite there yet, but I’m not far off. There are, inevitably, other issues that need addressing as well. Continuity, for a start. And the inevitable plot-holes. But they’re all fixable.

So, over the coming weeks, I’ll be tidying up the first in the series and addressing those issues. As I do, I’ll get back to the blog as well. I’ll share some of what the series is about and how I’m progressing. But I’ll also catch up on my book reviews – I am soooo far behind.

For now, though, I just wanted to let you, dear reader, know that my lack of activity in this space hasn’t been because I’ve died or fallen into a coma. I am still alive and well – in my opinion, if not that of all those around me.

Anyway, must stop now. I can hear visitors, and I need to answer the door…