The autumn leaves are falling from the trees, the mornings are chilly and the nights are colder still. But that’s great news for us authors, right? There’s less to do outside and we can spend more time hunkered over our keyboards bashing out words. In my case, that means rummaging through my big sack of ideas and pushing the third and final part of my Wardens of the Black Heart trilogy – The Well of Tears – over the line. Lorna and Monkey have a date with destiny, and yours truly is the one to report on the action.
Now, I know measuring words and chapters is boring and scientific, and doing it this way always makes me feel like I’m the one on the receiving end of Robin Williams’ monologue in Dead Poets Society – “Oh, I like Byron. I give him a 42, but I can’t dance to it!” – but nevertheless, it helps me focus on what I’ve achieved this year. In my last progress report way back in June, the total words and chapters stood at 41,000 / 19 respectively. As we enter the home straight, I’m pleased to report that the totals are now 62,000 / 27. And what a home straight it is! Monkey will finally get some answers about his dad as more skeletons come out of the closet and the machinations of the Wardens become clearer. Or do they? Well, naturally, you’ll just have to wait and see.
So, “What’s left to do?” I hear you cry. Well, 20 of those 27 chapters have been subject to the first round of editing by my eagle-eyed younger daughter, Rachel. That’s another 7 chapters for her to pour over. There’s the small matter of writing the remaining chapters – that looks like another 9 at the moment but don’t hold me to that. I’m hoping that this task will be completed by the end of November, which will give me 2 to 3 months to do the necessary re-writes, chopping out the clunkier bits and replacing them with sharpened descriptions, character and dialogue. Oh, and then there’s the arduous task of reading my own work through about 4 or 5 times, (Rachel will do the same) so that the reader doesn’t have a bad experience where the text is littered with stupid errors. My original target was for a release date of February/March 2020, and I see no reason to alter this prediction.
Even though I say so myself, I’m proud of the fact that despite doing a full-time job, I’m able to crank out a novel in 12 months. Despite these self-imposed deadlines, I won’t release The Well of Tears until I’m happy that it’s the highest quality I can make it, and it doesn’t betray the hard work I’ve done over the last 4 years in bringing this trilogy to life. Lorna and Monkey have grown as characters and they deserve the best finale that I can possibly give them.
In other news, I’ve made arrangements for Monkey Arkwright to go on tour. In an attempt to bring new fans to the series, I’ve signed up with Rachel Gilbey, of Rachel’s Random Resources, who’s organised a blog tour for early January. This will be the subject of a post nearer the time, but I’m excited to see what the reviewers think of Monkey Arkwright, so I thought I’d mention it now.
In the meantime, thanks for reading, and if you haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy (plus a short story), they’re available on Amazon Kindle at ridiculously low prices (links below):-
Monkey Arkwright (Wardens of the Black Heart #1)
Black Hearts Rising (Wardens of the Black Heart #2)
The Mysterious Mr Gooch (Wardens of the Black Heart short story)