A thread. Being a writer is a strangely reflective practice. You constantly look ahead to the next new project, something that fills you with excitement and joy, and yet you can’t help but look back as well. It’s been over two years since I wrote my first novel and I have gone back to the start – rereading The Dark Crown – for several reasons, and am discovering a number of things too.
First, it’s fantastic, much better than I remembered it being. I’m surprised how it still elicits an emotional response within me, even though I know exactly what’s going to happen.
There are things about it I would change; slightly too much detail, some of the prose are a little overdone, but I like what I’m reading very much. I think it is safe to say that as a writer I’ve developed since I wrote it.
My next project would be my hardest yet, because it moves away from the ideas I experimented with in my head for the previous 15 years. The energy will be different, but still focus on the concept of family; what it is, how it manifests itself, the toll it can take and the many forms it comes in.
I want to explore the difficult side of family; the awkwardness of having to conform, the challenges, what is often whispered, or only said internally, but never to the face of the person we might wish to.
The little voice of doubt at the back of my mind has returned – which is no surprise – and is also another reason for the weird excitement I have about the new project. It shows I’m taking it seriously, but it also shows I also know what I have to get better at, that is the life of the writer always looking to get better and make the end product that little bit more perfect.
I have planned the next trilogy, in pretty tight terms, and caught the main beats which I have decided will be called ‘Masks of Anarchy’. The quick pitch is The A-Team meets the Walking Dead in a fantasy world – if that doesn’t sound fun, I don’t know what does. While on a roll, I have also drafted out the third trilogy – to be called the Broken Kingdom.
This will be the bringing together of eight books, and considering how well Marvel did the Infinity War and End Game so well, I want to create the same type of satisfaction I experienced when Capt. America was finally proved to ‘be worthy’. It’s going to take three years and if it works as well on the page as it does in my head, it will be something quite special.
To help to reach new readers and connect with more authors, I have also joined TikTok and am enjoying myself – if feeling slightly old with having to learn new skills. Child 1 has rolled their eyes at my lack of skills far too often for comfort.
All the new first trilogy books also have new covers and are much better for it- check out GetCovers – they are awesome. As a gift to spread the word, I have also made my first book – The Dark Crown – completely free, and who wouldn’t want a two time semi finalist novel, of over 134k words, featuring magic, heroes and big cats? If you haven’t got it, click here.
The next book The Midnight Warriors will be out in early 2023 and I cannot wait to see where the adventure takes me next…