Wednesday 16 February 2011

I'm not ill, I just feel rotten

I'm in denial about my health at the moment, but when I got up and my vision greyed for a moment I thought, "okay, maybe I do work from home today". I don't want to go into graphic detail, but I seem to have the cold from hell. Blood is involved, too. Headaches. Woozyness. It's not the "clutch blanket, hide in bed" kinda cold, but it's bad enough that the last thing I want is to commute, cattle class, into London.

So I'm working from home, surrounded by Lemsip, dressed in several layers of clothes I can strip really fast when I get too hot, and also food so I remember to eat. (Last thing I want do to with a raw throat is eat - also, my body goes "Uh, no, don't give me food, can't you see I'm BUSY fighting those virii/bacteria, idjit.") At least I'm mostly coherent.

On the writing front, "Father of All Things" went back to Carina on Saturday (12. Feb). It got a completely new ending, and rewrites of about 6-7k of text. Which sounds easy, but trust me, it isn't. That book will be out on 15 August.

Then Dreamspinner has just emailed me to tell me that "Scorpion" in now in the editing stage. I expect the whole manuscript to come back to me in the next 4-6 weeks. Working on that will kick-start "Lying with Scorpions", the sequel.

My boxer story (the fist fighter, not the garment or the dog) hit 10k yesterday. It might grow to anything between 30-60k, but I expect it to be in the mid-range of that, so around 40-45k. I'd love for it to turn into a novel, of course, because I love the main character, as random and bipolar as he is. Working title of that is "Untouchable", but I may yet change that.

Then I got a very insightful, well-written review from Book Utopia for "Lion of Kent". While I respectfully disagree about the relative quality of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and "Lion of Kent" (DADT is four years old and I'd be shocked if I hadn't developed as a writer in the meantime, plus, Kate Cotoner is hugely talented and really made the novella shine), there's a lot of food for thought in the review.

"This historical does what not very many in this genre really do for me – made me forget I was reading a historical. It’s not because of the lack of detail to create the setting. It’s the opposite. The story is just so well-realized that it never feels intrusive, never feels like I’m being reminded page after page that this happened a long time ago. It rings of authenticity, which is a credit both to the rather seamless prose and the meticulous structure of its presentation. There aren’t awkward information dumps, or pages of facts that have nothing to do with moving the story forward. I sank into this story as if I was a squire within Sir Robert’s household already, a natural extension of the world the authors created."

Read the rest here.

I'm apprehensive about writing the sequel to "Lion of Kent". It's not just the amount of research or the fact that, most likely, I'll be writing it alone, it's above all the extremely high expectations I have for that book. I'd hate for it to be any worse than "Lion of Kent".

Research for "Iron Cross" continues, but I'm slow on the word count. While I consider 1,000 words written on any story a good day's work, for "Iron Cross", 100 words is good work. I keep wondering if there's something wrong with my outline or plot that it moves so slowly, or if I'm lazy or procrastinating, but I don't think it's that. I may still hit my deadline with that - May.


  1. Please feel better soon! It is never any fun to be sick and even less when you're trying to get your brain to function for work/writing.

    A sequel to Lion of Kent would be nice but I can understand the apprehension (especially after getting such a good review on the 1st book). I will read it if you write it and I am sure your other fans will too, regardless of the reviews it receives.

    I am really looking forward to Iron Cross and if you take any beta readers for that, please keep me in mind :)

    Again, feel better soon!

  2. Brenda - thanks for the vote of confidence. You'll be the first to know about any critical developments.