I stopped writing four weeks ago. Just stopped. I had lost my muse, couldn’t find a way forward with book 3 that didn’t bore the pants off me (and if I’m bored – what hope has anyone else?) I needed a little break, if not a total breakdown.
Of course, as soon as DI Dan Hellier was out of my head for a few days, and I was gardening and looking forward to a holiday, in came a totally new character who would star in a new book, set in a foreign country, with no police procedure to worry about. You couldn’t get more remote from Exeter and Devon. Muse woke up from her long slumber and winked at me. Excitedly I wrote an outline and started research into the Crete resistance during the Second World War. it’s fascinating. The book will be a modern romantic adventure steeped in the violent, brave history of Crete… I cracked straight on with the research and began to pull a rough idea together.
In March I attended a workshop run by Retreatswest with Craig (CM) Taylor, on character, and through his excellent workshops began to put flesh on the bones of the characters. I wrote a couple of chapters to find Anna Georgiou’s voice, and found the other characters along the way. All was going well. Except…
Book 3 in the Dan Hellier series just won’t lie down and die. It keeps popping up and suggesting that if I just get my head down and think about the plot hole, I will come up with something to plug it. I have readers (I know – still amazes me, too) who would like to read another one. I have the storyline, and the characters, and an interesting antagonist. Why can’t I just do it???
So, dammit, I’m going back to book 3 to finish it, and then I will get back to my lovely Cretan adventure. It will wait. So stay with me. There will be a third detective thriller in the bookshops at the end of the year, and very soon afterwards, I hope, something completely different.