All of the advice that I read when preparing to self-publish “Fatal Forgery” was clear on one thing: start writing your next book before you publish the first one, so that you have something else to think about. Of course I ignored all of that, because I Know Best. But they’re right, to a certain extent. I don’t think I could have actually started another book while thinking so much about “FF”, but I did make sure that I told anyone who asked that, yes, there would be further Constable Sam Plank adventures.
I now find myself manically checking “FF” sales figures – I do CreateSpace first, for the paperbacks, then Kindle, then Gumroad (no sales at all through this last one yet, so that rather puts the lie to all the people who told me that I couldn’t just do Kindle and had to supply a plain PDF for all the other e-readers). But I don’t think this is a healthy obsession, and the cure must be a new focus.
And so today I have earned a day in the library. (I run a one-person serious business, a proper day job, and in order to get a weekday off, I have to work extra-hard to get ahead of myself with other commitments.) I am taking all of my Plank notes with me, both paper and electronic, as I am sure that there is something lurking in there to form the heart of another story. I already have vague recollections of one or two interesting cases that I read in passing, so I need to root them out in the library newspaper archive. And there were even a couple of characters who didn’t make the final cut for “FF”, so they might be resurrected. I was particularly fond of Georgie Mac, a crime boss rather modelled on Grouty in “Porridge”… Of course, like all proper authors, I shall probably spend most of the morning eating scones in the library tea-room and trying to think of a good title.