Double Trouble


I am writing:

two things. I don’t usually run two books at once, but one seems to have trodden upon the toes of the next. The toe-treading book contains a fair amount of dragons and I guess toe-treading is what dragons are prone to do. This project is a bit of a collaboration, which is new to me and calls for a lot of re-writes and general fiddling about. I’ve learnt a lot of good things doing it, but after being used to being in sole charge of my ideas and story, the process has been, um … interesting at times. But in a good way.

When the second draft of these dragons flew off some weeks ago I got straight onto MAXIMILLIAN FLY, which is my new stand-alone novel for Katherine Tegen at HarperCollins. It’s a little bit sci-fi mixed with run-down old city and I am really enjoying writing it. Maximillian is not entirely human, but he has a human heart, a difficult mother and I have grown very fond of him. And that is all I’ll say about him for now. 

But soon those dragons will be winging their way back for a third draft and Max will be taking a rest for a few weeks. They don’t like to share the same headspace. 

I am reading: 

Mary Beard’s POMPEII. This is such a fascinating insight into life in Pompeii. Before that I re-read Kate Atkinsons’ LIFE AFTER LIFE, which is a wonderful, heart-soaring book. I shall go back to her amazing A GOD IN RUINS next. Ruins seem to be a bit of a theme at the moment …




First one!


I am writing: a whole new world! This does, I admit, sound a little grandiose, but this is the part of writing I enjoy the most. I have a small amount of time until another project comes back from its editors, so until then I am wandering around a strange city that is perched beside a huge marshy expanse of water. I’m getting to know two rather interesting people and beginning to meet others now too. This is the daydream part of writing when all kinds of things are possible. Later on, of course it gets more tricky. But that is for later.

I am reading: The Burning Land, by Bernard Cornwell. This is book 5 of The Last Kingdom series, which is set in Britain in the time of King Alfred. It’s not the usual thing I read, but I am hooked. I love the historical feel, and the characters are great. The lead character is very believable and the female characters, (my spellcheck changed female to falafel, but as yet there are no falafel characters, sadly. I look forward to that) are all, within the constraints of their time, very strong. There is a little too much bloodthirsty fighting for my taste, but it’s right it should be there, you can’t write about Vikings without that kind of stuff. I think there are ten books in the series, so that’s my reading sorted for the next few weeks.