I’m delighted to announce that I’ve finally finished editing my second novel (working title ‘The Gryphon at Bay’) to a level where I’m now happy to send it out to my publishers. Set immediately after the events in ‘Fire & Sword’, it turns the spotlight onto the incorrigible Hugh, 2nd Lord Montgomerie: I suppose, if I was to summarise it succinctly, I’d say it was a novel about hubris, & about the changing whims of Fortune.
I’ll leave things at that just now, I think. So far, ‘Fire & Sword’ has earned 6 5-star reviews on Amazon (3 5-star reviews from each side of the Atlantic): to receive such positive feedback from readers gives real encouragement to a writer, providing us with just the impetus we need to keep on working hard to complete novels and get them out into wider circulation.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you any idea of if and when ‘The Gryphon At Bay’ (if indeed, that remains its title) will be approaching publication as my editor & publisher at Hadley Rille Books, Eric Reynolds, has been taken ill and it’s not likely he’ll be back at his desk any time soon.
Eric’s been a solid and enthusiastic supporter of my work, and without his decision to publish ‘Fire & Sword’, I don’t think I’d be here now celebrating the completion of my second novel, which only took a mere 9 years to finish! So it seemed obvious to me as I added the finishing touches to the MS that ‘Gryphon’ should be dedicated to him.
With this major project completed, I’ll be taking my foot off the gas for a while and concentrating on trying to widen public awareness for ‘Fire & Sword’ both in Scotland and further afield. I’ll also be getting on with my third novel, which is a wee bit different from what’s gone before, I must say, as well as starting the long process of researching novel #4, which will be the next installment of my late 15th century series – let’s call it ‘The Westland Chronicles’ for the time being, though this isn’t exactly official right now!
I have some vague ideas as to what will happen next in the story arc, because I’ve read the historical accounts. But how these vague hints eventually transform themselves into a narrative will be as much of a surprise to me as they will, hopefully, be to you, and the process of this transformation will, I hope, be great fun to be involved with!