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Apologies for the radio silence: I have been away on holiday for a week.  But I do have plenty of updates for you.

Just before I went away, I placed my “author order” of fifty copies of “Portraits of Pretence” with CreateSpace.  I chose one of the slower delivery speeds, so they are probably on the back of giant turtle making its leisurely way across the sea as we speak, but they’re coming.  Fifty is a rather optimistic number, isn’t it?  I have pre-sold about twenty to various bookshops, and I have a few promotional ideas for a handful more, but the rest was perhaps rather reckless.  It’s always a funny, limbo period, between finalising the book and officially publishing it.

However, things are moving on elsewhere.  My lovely narrator Guy has already started work on the next instalment of AudioSam by completing the first chapter of “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat”.  As I’ve been away I haven’t listened to it yet, but I will do that tomorrow.  We have been buoyed and encouraged by good reviews for the “Fatal Forgery” audiobook that have started appearing on Goodreads.

But perhaps the most important development is that I have made a big decision about “Plank 5”.  I am not going to write it next year – or, more accurately, I am not going to plan to publish it next year.  I always said that, once I had three books out there, I would have a good idea about whether the Sam Plank series would be a success.  And here I am, about to send the fourth one out, and it turns out that I don’t have a good idea at all.  People who read them love them, to be sure, but then not that many people read them.  It’s such a crowded marketplace now – poor old Sam is up against millions of other books.  So my plan is this: “Plank 5” will come out in October 2018.  This will give me more time to write it – or, more realistically, the same amount of time but stretched over a longer period, so that I’m not writing in every moment that I’m not working.  And the time that is freed up will be spent on marketing and promotion of the Sam Plank series.  I often have ideas of things I could do to promote them, but then I don’t have the time – and now I will.  Of course all of these deadlines and timetables are entirely made up by me, so if I get bored with promotion, I’ll start writing again.  And there is absolutely no need to worry that this is my gentle way of saying that “Plank 5” (and “Plank 6” and “Plank 7”) will not happen – I can promise that they will.  After all, I’ve got their plots all ready to go…