Here’s the plan.

So my big news is that I have signed up to write a new Silas Quinn novel.

This will be the sixth. The fourth, The Red Hand of Fury, came out last year; the fifth, The White Feather Killer, is due out at the end of April. (It’s a long time since I wrote a sentence with a semi-colon in it, but what the hell. This is my blog; I can do what I want.)

I do have a title for the next one, but I’m not going to reveal it yet. I’m a bit superstitious about that kind of thing. Or maybe not superstitious. Just a bit wary. The last thing I want is someone nicking my title before I’ve had a chance to write the book.

I’ve agreed to deliver the manuscript to my publisher Severn House by the end of October. Yes, that’s October, 2019.


It may seem like a long way off, but if I’m going to meet that deadline I’m going to have to get cracking.

It’s amazing how quickly the months fly by when you have a book to write. Especially when you have a day job that takes up most of your time. And no servants to sort out all the domestic nonsense.

At the moment, I’m just trying to get the pieces of the plot in place. (Yeah, alliteration. Deal with it.) I figure that the more time I spend on this phase, the easier the actual writing will be. I hope so, because, obviously, it will also mean less time to do it in.

The key thing is building the characters.

My main character, DCI Quinn, and his team, are already established. But there’s a whole new cast of characters who I have to somehow bring to life. I have to think of names and occupations for them all, as well as their physical characteristics. Also, and more importantly, I have to think about their inner lives. Their dreams, hopes and desires. I have to give them all secrets that they will do anything to conceal. In other words, I need to make them all plausible murder suspects.

There’s also research to do.

The action takes place in December 1914, around the first Christmas of the First World War. The book is set in London, not on the front, and I really want to convey a sense of what it must have felt like to be caught up in it all.

Of course, the more books in a series you write, the more you build up a feel for that essential texture. But still, I want a new book to have new things in it, to do something new, and to surprise readers – both those who are fresh to the series and those who’ve been with me from the beginning. (Every book I write is designed to work on its own, and all the blogger reviews I’ve read seem to confirm that I’ve managed to do this so far. Which is nice.)

Guess I’d better get on with it then.

Yeah. What the hell am I doing frittering away my time on this blog post? Anyone would think I didn’t have a book to write.






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