What’s been going on?

As you can see, the folks at Facebook seem super interested in what I’ve been up to, so I thought I’d give Zuckerberg (and everyone else) a bit of an update.

The new book is coming along well. I’m probably about 85% through the first draft and am happy with how it’s coming together. I’ve tried to plan this novel more than I did with DITD (is it too soon to start abbreviating The Devil’s in the Detail?!), but I’ve found that when it comes to actually sit down and write, I veer away from the plan and go where I think the characters want to go. I’ve lived with these characters now for almost 12 months, and my understanding of what drives them and motivates them has changed a lot. Some of them have changed occupations, upbringings and even genders! This evolution of the story reminds me of a quote from one of my favourite writers, Paulo Coelho, who compares writing to setting off toward an island in a row boat and the more you row the more you realise you are rowing toward an entirely different island (If you’ve got a couple of minutes, check out the full quote here).

So with the draft nearing completion, my mind has started drifting to other parts of the novel – it’s title (I think I’ve decided on one, but will wait for guidance from my editors), the cover and the book’s marketing. Should be some exciting times ahead!

I had hoped the novel would be ready for Christmas, but the book is much longer than the first and after 12 months of writing, I’d hate to rush it to meet some arbitrary deadline that I’d given myself. That said, I do hope the draft will be completed over the Christmas break when I have a little more time. So if you’d planned on stuffing people’s Christmas stocking with book 2 this year, I apologise. Might I suggest you opt for The Devil’s in the Detail? As online sales don’t allow for a personal message and autograph of the author, if you contact me I’m happy to write a personal message to you, scan it and e-mail it to you – all ready to be slipped inside the cover. Just let me know who to make it out to.

I often get asked how DITD is faring (that acronym really isn’t going to stick is it?). I must admit my energies have been primarily focussed on writing at the moment, but every now and again I get a lovely e-mail, comment or tweet telling me that they enjoyed the book. The other day, the novel featured in a blog of an actual London cab driver who I’d been in contact with for his thoughts. This lead to an e-mail from a black cab enthusiast in Germany. Oh Internet, how you do surprise me.

So that’s about it from me. I’m off to Nepal for some trekking at the end of the week which will be a welcome break. The last time I did a trek it was through Spain and inspired my current novel, so who knows – book 3 might be in the Himalayas!

Hopefully this update will placate our friends at Facebook and I’ll stop getting reminders to post updates! I hope everyone is well and I’ll touch in after I return from Nepal.

A little milestone

I think it’s important to celebrate little milestones when you pass them. As such, I’m very happy to report that I passed the 80,000 mark on the novel today. To give some context, that’s the entire length of The Devil’s in the Detail. Does that mean that I’m nearly done? Not quite. It feels as if I’m about 70% through the story and there are still quite a few characters with their personal stories up in the air. It would be the equivalent of leaving David in the canals (Oops, spoiler alert)! I think the story is coming together nicely though, in the same way that a set of Ikea drawers eventually takes shape (Note: writing a novel is MUCH easier than assembling a set of Ikea drawers).

In other news, I’m attending the Emerging Writers’ Festival in Melbourne this weekend. It should be a cool couple of days and looking forward to meeting some other local writers and picking their brains on all things writing.

Thanks again for people’s continued kind words about The Devil’s in the Detail. The word of mouth recommendations and reviews you’ve been posting in Amazon have been awesome.

So I’ll let you know how the conference goes and I hope that you and your friends, families have had their own kind of milestone this week. If so, then give yourself a little pat on the back and set yourself the next one. Take care.

¿Dónde he estado?

Or as we say in English, “Where have I been?”! I must confess that with my second novel features so many Spanish characters, it’s often hard to switch back to my Australian way of thinking.

I’m conscious that it’s been several weeks since my last update and I thought it prudent that I checked in for a quick visit (websites are similiar to gyms in that regard).

So what’s been happening? In a word… Writing! Tonight I’ve just finished Chapter 16 of the second novel and I’m quite pleased with how the story is coming along. It still amazes me how attached I seem to get to the characters in my novels. Writing this book about the Camino de Santiago, I truly feel that I’m right there in Spain, walking the path toward Santiago with them.

To aid this, I’ve been immersing myself in all things Spanish: I’ve been reading Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and switched to drinking Rioja. But probably the most effective trigger to get into the Spanish way of thinking has been listening to some Spanish music. Check out the video below for a little dose of the type of tune I’ve been listening to while writing at the moment (as well as some sweet footage of Camaron rocking a pink jumper while on holiday in Paris!). I appreciate it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m absolutely loving it at the moment and my Melbourne apartment is starting to sound like a Sevillan bar at present.

Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well and I’m looking forward to sharing more details with you about the second novel in the next few months.

Adios / Bye