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I’ll put you out of your misery right now: I have met my (self-imposed) deadline of sending the completed first draft of “Plank 4” to my lovely beta reader Roy.  The email went off at 14:21 today, and now there’s nothing more to be done on the text until I hear back from him – hope he’s feeling kind…  To celebrate this evening, I will watch some trashy telly – becoming easier, now that the Olympic cycling has finished and my husband’s fingers can be prised from the remote control – and then go to sleep without playing Plank over in my mind.

A few stats for you on that first draft.  There are 37 chapters (not keen on that number, but that’s the way the action worked out) and a glossary containing, between them, 65,688 words – so that’s the longest Plank novel to date.  And the scariest number of all: 64 days until publication.  Work is underway on the cover; I have decided on the background document and the foreground image, and the colour is up to (down to?) the designer.  And the title is down to (up to?) you, as you know.

But I will not be twiddling my thumbs until I hear from Roy and you lot have chosen my title for me, oh no.  The voice artiste has submitted the whole of “Fatal Forgery” for me to listen to – I didn’t dare do it while I was working on “Plank 4”, in case I muddled them up – which means that “Audio FF” might beat “Plank 4” to the publication post.  And I haven’t forgotten about maps to go with the books – “Walking the Plank” – but I am loath to pester the kind map man about them as he is such a nice chap and, well, we’ve waited since 1824, so what’s another few months?

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