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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!