Theoretically, at least, one of the main reasons this blog exists is so I can keep in contact with my readers and give them updates on what is coming down the pipe, so to speak. That is it was one of the main reasons I started blogging about seven years ago now. Since then the blog has been through several iterations, moved entirely a couple of times and is no longer entirely focused on that core reason for its existence. But once in a while, I remember why I started a blog in the first place and put out an update for readers on what I’m up to. Today been one of those days, and this particular post been one of those posts because it seems like a good time to do one. Hence the rather ambiguous title…
A couple of weeks ago I finally typed ‘The End’ on the second full draft of ‘From Russia With Tassels’ The second instalment of The Hannibal Smyth Misadventures, and sent it to my editor and an alpha reader. As usual, I’d gone over my own deadline, a couple of them in actuality, but all things being equal ‘Tassels’ is now on course to come out towards the end of the summer. You know, that point when everyone has finished buying books for the beach… But, importantly for those who have been asking, it is on its way and not that far away at that.
With Tassels out of the way, I found I had some time to do a few different things and focus on something other than old Harry for a while… So, of course, one of the first things I did was start work on Book 3 ‘A Squid on the Shoulder’. Which was remarkably easy as its back to first draft writing and I’ve known what happens next for over a year now while working on book 1 and 2 simultaneously. I have been waiting to get on with the story for quite a while in fact, so I rattled off the first few thousand words in record time. But having made a start I realised I still need a break from old Harry, and so Squid, while started, is been left to fallow a while. To give me a chance to work on some other projects.
Following swiftly on from the success of the first Harvey Duckman anthology, I’d been asked to write another story for volume 2. So in a departure form steampunk, and old Harry I wrote a playful pulpy little sci-fi tale entitled ‘The Strontium Thing’ which in an earlier iteration was considered as a Lyal the barman tale in Passing Place. Like any tale told by Lyal, it is to an extent a rolling joke of the shaggy dog story style, that Lyal himself never really understands. The story was never finished as Lyal ended up telling the story ‘Demonic Home and Garden’ in Passing place instead as it fit better with the novel as a whole, so I am pleased to say ‘The Strontium Thing’ has now found a home for itself in Harvey Dunkman presents volume 2 which is due to be released to coincide with the Kapow Stockton Sci-fi festival in July. Where I can be found signing books and wearing big hats…
When I first started writing the Hannibal stories, I also began writing a second steampunk series, the first book of which was entitled ‘Maybe’s Daughter’. It was initially just a sandbox for playing with idea’s and was intended to be just a fun bit of writing, sillier than the more serious Hannibal novels, and written purely to entertain myself. As with all well-made plans, the grimdark original versions of Hannibal became more satirical and the satirical Maybe’s daughter is somewhat more grimdark. I recently let an alpha reader be alone in a room with maybe, and read the half written first draft. Between his notes, and the desire to set away from old harry, maybe is currently getting some work done of it for the first time in a couple of years. With a fair wind, I may get the first Maybe novel finished later this year, or early next. Depending on old Harry.
Finally, as far as works in progress are concerned I am finally spending some time back in the Passing Place with the sequel to the original novel, Something Red. There is a long way to go, but the first couple of chapters are more or less set in stone, as is the main story arc I have been planning out for about three years now. Anything passing place tends to be a slow burner, but it’s good to get back in the bar for a while, and back to some of my favourite creations. I can’t give anyone a timeline for Something red, but it is still there simmering away.
So there you have it, much to write and much to come.
Adios for now