It was with some trepidation that I waited for feedback on my novel (originally called Borrowed Time) from the other runner up from the Mslexia competition, Nicola Vincent-Abnett. Trepidation because I'd been so bowled over by her literary novel, and wondered if my commercial novel might not stand up to Naming Names. I needn't have worried, Nicola (who has a great deal of experience in the publishing world) critiqued it as a commercial book, and was kind enough to give a great review. Wow. She was also kind enough to send me a book of her husband's, derived from the same time period. Looking forward to reading Triuff: Her Majesty's Hero.
I'm on a roll here with A Baby's Bones, too, tapping out the last few chapters with enthusiasm. Even though I didn't expect the vicar to get stabbed. Oops. Sorry. Sometimes, these things just happen. I'm going to print off a draft to play with so I can insert the historical bits and hack away at the language. My first drafts are done without my editor's hat on, and are composed mostly of clichés, mispellings and adverbs. My editor takes a purple pen and tuts all the way through. I'm finding having deadlines very helpful. I have to set myself strict dates in order to get anything done, and the end of August is it for A Baby's Bones, then it's off for substantial editing and tidying.
We have family and friends visiting in August, so that makes me strict on deadlines, too. So, hopefully, by the end of August I should know whether anyone wants to buy the book, and be ready to launch into the sequel. The research is great fun: European history from the 1580s is so rich in ideas and adventures, and great characters like Tycho Brahe (that's pronounced bra-ha, I looked it up). And the Venice of the sixteenth century is so rich, no wonder they set Assassin's Creed there (for the uninitiated, this is a franchise of computer games). A world of masks and lies and spies...perfect for Elizabeth Bathory with her nasty secrets and thirst for young blood.