The original plan was to start writing GUARDIANS OF PARADISE as soon as my editor said she was happy with CONSORTS OF HEAVEN. Several reasons: firstly, CONSORTS is that tricky second novel and until I know whether it’s made the grade I feel uncomfortable moving on to another major project; secondly, I needed more envelope-scribbling time (or, as more professional writers call it, planning) for GUARDIANS before I embarked on the actual word-smithing; and thirdly, I had other writing stuff that I’d been neglecting in the final push to get CONSORTS in on time.
Regarding point three above, I can report that I’ve sent out some short stories that had been gathering virtual dust (and might have sold one – watch this space). I’ve also written a new short story called ‘Dreaming Towers, Unseen Mansions’, not set in the ‘Hidden Empire’ universe, and based on a stolen dream. It’s currently a rough first draft awaiting ritual deconstruction by the OSB writing group. I’ve also revisited EPIPHANY NIGHT, the (as yet unsold) novel I originally wrote for NaNoWriMo in 2006. This story is part of my timeline; in fact it’s right at the start of it, being set in the middle of this century. It still needs work, but I wanted to lick the beginning into shape ready for the Milford SF Writers Workshop in September.
So, many worthy tasks have been completed – but still no word from the overworked editor. She’s having a well-deserved holiday this week, which may or may not be ruined by her promise to finish reading CONSORTS during it.
Having run out of real work, I have, today, tidied the garret. I now have less, and smaller, piles of paper around me when I work and, more importantly, I know roughly what’s in every pile (there is a system, really there is). I was amused to find the original badly-drawn-in-pencil map of Khesh City scribbled on the back of a computer listing – the sort with the holes down the side. That City’s been in my head far too long. I did wonder in passing if the map could fetch a quid or two on Ebay, but it’s not exactly a work of art.
And now I can put it off no longer. I need to get started on the next book, not least because I need something to send out to my other writing group, Tripod, by the end of the week. Though it may be old-fashioned, conventional even, I reckon I’ll start at the beginning, by typing up the sketchy prologue hand-written at Wolverhampton station a couple of weeks ago.
Wish me luck. I’m going in.