Monday, 3 September 2012

One Down, Several More To Go: Future Plans

With my debut novel still in the hands of my proofreading and fact-checking team (comprising family and friends, all very kind and with a laser eye for detail -- if there's a missing comma, they'll notice it), I have had some time to think about other things. This latency period will, I hope, enable me to look again at the final, checked and edited copy before uploading it to KDP, and see it through the reader's eyes rather than my own. I certainly experienced some degree of this beneficial detachment last night, when my wife was reading it on her laptop. Looking over from the book I was finishing (Peter Robinson's excellent Past Reason Hated), I read a few pages and, after a couple of paragraphs, forgot for a moment that I was reading something I had written myself.

Even though I've only just finished my first novel, I've made a start on my second, bashing out five thousand words over the weekend. This is not a detective novel. This story, a dark comedy, is about a course of action taken by a normal, everyday man during the Jubilee Weekend, and I plan to release it before the end of the year. 

After that, there will be a return to the crime genre with my third book, a second detective novel featuring the characters from Steps In The Shadows. When I started writing Steps, I set out to write a detective novel. Just one book, because I had always wanted to write a detective story. But as I wrote, my mind started wandering. I would create a character and think, what if they did X, Y or Z? I would refer to a particular incident and start to wonder, what were the antecedents to that? Before long, my simple, uncluttered story was at the centre of something greater, and I started to sketch out some possibilities. By the time I had finished, I had enough material to create an overarching theme and some more plots to give my characters a lot of work to do. 

There will be four books in total to deal with the overarching theme, and Detective Inspector Molyneux is the central character throughout. The stories are set in Manchester and focus on events within the Northern Quarter of the city, hence the title I have decided to give the series: The Northern Quartet. 

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