OK, I'm back. Two weeks off and ready to run again. I've managed to work on the ending a bit more, I have about 16k words of what will be the big final battle. It will round off plot threads from all three books (hopefully) while leaving the way open for book 4 and 5. I'm over halfway with the book, but as usual, I have a strong beginning, a new ending and little idea about the middle. Each book seems to have less middle, and more beginning and end. Eventually I'll just write the two ends and join them up.
I've been networking, and have met a talented local writer who is a long way down the journey to publication. In fact, I've met several strong writers recently and am hopeful that I may be able to put a group together than will help me keep learning and push forward. Opportunities for learning have become more difficult to find. Part of me would love to do A215 again, this time with more attention. I'm still writing and reading, of course, but it's nice to have someone look at your words and point out what they've noticed.
I'm in a bit of a dilemma with the books. Last year, when I didn't know if I would get a book deal, I wrote A Baby's Bones, a bit of a prequel to The Secrets of Life and Death. My agent, Charlotte, threw that in the mix in case they doubted I could do other books. The problem for me is, they bought book 1, book 2 and the prequel. I have since realised that I would much rather publish the whole trilogy with Del Rey UK. I love being in the same stable as Django Wexler, EJ Swift, Liesel Schwarz, Kameron Hurley and Mark Hodder. Big names!
Book 4 is writing itself in the back of my head as well. George Pierce, the 'rat-man' of book 1, was just so much fun to write I'm working on a short story about him, and getting ideas for book 4 along with it. Not to mention that I get to spend a bit of time researching Moretonhampstead, which plays a large part in his history. I also get to go back to my archaeologist, Sage, as she investigates an irregular burial for the Home Office. The burial of a child outside a churchyard's walls...