Sometimes, something happens that makes you rethink all of your plans.
It can be an uncomfortable experience, if not downright scary. But sometimes it pays to listen to that inner voice and change – if change is needed.
This is different from getting distracted from the shiny new thing, which I’ll freely admit I am prone to. In this case, the new thing isn’t shiny at all. It’s going to be a lot of hard work. But I think it’ll meet the needs of you, my readers, better.
At least, I hope so!
So What’s the Change?
You may remember that a while ago, I wrote to you about my plans for the year.
Here’s what I wrote:
Here are the planned novels:
- Sea of Lies, a standalone sequel to Thicker Than Water. This is the book I’m currently writing, and I’m enjoying revisiting those characters. The strapline is: He abducted her. He fell in love with her. He helped her escape. Can she trust him? It’ll be out in late March.
- Another psychological thriller, working title The Girl in the Night. This focuses on a grief-stricken woman who sees a young girl by her bed at night. Is the girl a product of her fevered imagination, or is there something more sinister going on? Publication in July (at least that’s the plan).
- This isn’t definite, but the third book may be about a group of commuters stuck on a broken down Tube train. The lights go out and one of them is killed. Who is the murderer? And is anyone safe? Working title In The Dark.
- And then there’ll be another thriller, which may be psychological or political (or a bit of both). It all depends on the story that grabs my imagination, but I already have a few ideas!
Well, it’s only March, and that plan is about to change following feedback from readers.
Sea of Lies is already written and edited. It’s currently with my proofreader and due to be published on 22 March. So that ain’t changing.
The change is to the second book I’m going to write. Instead of working on The Girl In The Night next, I’m going to write another book about the refugee village.
I’ve already spent many hours plotting The Girl In The Night. Which may make this sound like an odd decision, but that work will still be there when I return to writing the book. And when readers ask for something, you can’t ignore them.
Two of my wonderful beta readers (you know who you are) read a late draft of Sea of Lies for me last week, turning it around in less than 24 hours (you are my heroes). Interestingly, they gave different feedback and were rooting for different characters, but both were unanimous in one thing: they wanted more.
So the next book will be another sequel to Thicker Than Water. I’m still thinking about who will be the protagonist (probably Ruth, but that isn’t set in stone), and what exactly is going to happen. But I want it to further explore the situation of these refugees, traumatised by their experiences and unwelcome in their new home.
It seems there’s a lot of this kind of thing going on in the world at the moment. People hunkering down into their silos, distrusting people who aren’t like them, and separating themselves.
I want to explore this through the experience of the villagers – and write a gripping thriller too, that’ll make you want to turn the pages. The definition of a thriller that makes you think!
I’d love to know what you’d like to see next:
- Who would you like to be the star of the next book?
- What awful thing might happen to them?
- How will isolation and lack of acceptance impact on the village?
Good ideas will make it into the book. If you want to get in touch, please contact me via Facebook or join my book club and respond to your first email from me. I really need to get comments working in this blog, but they’re a little glitchy right now!
Now I’m off to plan the book. Wish me luck!
P.S. If you wonder why on earth there’s a picture of three people trying to get a sofa up some stairs at the top of this post, you need to watch some Friends episodes. You won’t regret it.