Good heavens – has it really been two whole months since I updated you on what I am up to? I do apologise. If it is any excuse at all, my blog silence has been the direct result of my writing busy-ness – yes, the finish line is in sight for “The Notes of Change” (the novel formerly known as “Plank 7”). All is in hand for a publication date of Friday 29 April (2022 – for the avoidance of doubt!), and as it stands I have only one last chapter to write.
Oddly for me, the chapter left to write is indeed the last chapter of the book. Usually I write the ending somewhere in the middle of the writing process and then work my way towards it – I have written before about my “jigsaw” writing technique (where I write the chapters I fancy in any order I want, and then patch them together at the end – I find it a good technique for avoiding writer’s block). But this time, perhaps because I know it really is the Final Chapter for Sam, I have been putting it off and putting it off. And, if I’m honest, until quite recently I wasn’t actually sure what I wanted to do with him. Those of you who have read “Fatal Forgery” and done your date calculations will know that I can’t do anything too drastic to him in this book – which ends at the end of 1829 – but still, I need to make the transition for him. And now I know how I am going to do that. But actually writing it, and knowing that it’s the last time I will write in his voice, well, that’s quite sad.
Some readers have suggested that I could go all Morse on him and write a prequel – and I might yet do that. (For my money, “Endeavour” is by far the best in the Morse canon – and in our house we can no longer even watch “Lewis” as it features an actor whose abhorrent political views mean that I will not even name him, let alone watch him. Not the lovely Kevin Whateley – the other one.) But if I do one day try a “young Sam” book, he will of course be a different man – he’s Sam as I know and love him only because he has lived so long and experienced so much. But I might not be able to resist.
Publication is not just about finishing the text – there are other ducks to get into that row. I have booked my lovely cover designer and have found a cover image that I want to use. I’m now waiting to hear from the copyright owner of the image about whether and how I can use it. My regular beta reader is lined up and waiting for the finished draft – I’ve promised that by the end of next week, so I’m going to have to get over my Sam sadness before then. And once the text is off my hands, I need to get cracking with arranging some marketing splash or other for the big day – and marketing is real weakness of mine. So if anyone reading this wants to suggest something, I’m all ears!