It’s a topic that’s been on my mind over the last week or so. I’m preparing for the launch of my next book and it’s a real goodbye scenario—it’s the third and final novel of the New London books.
The series is wrapped up and I’m happy with the way things ended, but it is the end. I have no plans to write about the characters ever again and I feel a little sad. I know I can write about them at any time I want to, but when a story’s done, a story’s done. They will go on to lead their fictitious lives and I will meddle with another lot of characters fates instead. They no longer need me, or I them. I guess it’s hard to let go, just like friends when they choose another direction and you part, or the end of a particularly wonderful holiday. I’ll miss them.
There is also a large element of satisfaction. I have written a complete series—not a small thing to achieve. The New London books were unexpected. I knew I’d write Seeing Red, but I was adamant it would be a single, stand-alone book with no sequel. Adamant! And then come that scene in my head of Andrew sitting in his study and getting a call for help from Nell. So much for adamant. I wouldn’t have missed the journey with these characters and there are no regrets.
The final book will be coming out late April and I will make announcements and reveal the cover and story-line closer to the date. Stay tuned!
If you would like the news before it goes public, you can sign up for my monthly newsletter, Writing Roundup.
Yes, I know, another Jack Reacher thriller. For those of you who are fans, you might jump for joy to see it, but those who don’t enjoy the full-on fighting and violence in some of the Reacher books, it might be worth giving this thriller a try.
The story has one of my favourite type of plot lines. It starts with something small—a little event that could easily be nothing. Then step by step it escalates into so much more. A personal mission to restore a ring to its owner becomes something involving an ex-FBI agent, military veterans, and government agencies. I take my metaphorical hat off to Lee Child—this story is excellent. It has the thriller elements, but it goes deeper than that this time and shows more of the humanity of Jack. Not to mention it has some fantastic humour, too. This is now one of my favourite Reacher books.
The Midnight Line - Blurb
A bad day. For someone.
Jack Reacher takes an aimless stroll past a pawn shop in a small Midwestern town. In the window he sees a West Point class ring from 2005. It’s tiny. It’s a woman cadet’s graduation present to herself. Why would she give it up? Reacher’s a West Pointer too, and he knows what she went through to get it.
Reacher tracks the ring back its owner, step by step, down a criminal trail leading west. Like Big Foot come out of the forest, he arrives in the deserted wilds of Wyoming. All he wants is to find the woman. If she’s OK, he’ll walk away.
If she’s not… he’ll stop at nothing.
He’s still shaken by the recent horrors of Make Me, and now The Midnight Line sees him set on a raw and elemental quest for simple justice.
Best advice: don’t get in his way.
You know how people say it’s good to learn something new every day? Or the one about every cloud having a silver lining? I was debating which of the two best suited this post and I think both do. The silver lining on a metaphorical cloud can teach me thinks—useful things.
About ten days ago I woke up with a sore eye. Not terribly sore, but red and a bit teary. It became worse as the day went on, so I went to my doctor. After a thorough examination (if my eye wasn’t red before, it was after!) he diagnosed conjunctivitis. He suggested some drops to use, and I went on my way.
Two nights later, I was in bad pain. My eye burned and the upper lid and brow ached. It was as though I’d been punched—not that I really know what that feels like, thankfully. To cut a long story short, I ended up at an eye specialist who took a quick look and diagnosed Acute Anterior Uveitis. More drops, and I’m thrilled to say I’m healing.
And yes, there is a silver lining to this that I have learned from. I’m a writer and I can use the experience one day in a book (probably on a character I don’t like). I’ve learned what it’s like to have extreme photosensitivity (I still have my screen brightness turned right down), doctors poking around my eye, and the fear of damage to my eye causing vision loss. I spent a little time wondering how I would write if the worst happened. Please note I never gave one thought to work, driving, and generally seeing, just the writing (there are audiobooks, so I had reading covered). I learned something useful and turned it into a partially positive experience.
It’s a blessing in some ways to want to store up the information, sensations, and emotions that go with life. Perhaps not so much in the moment when there is pain, physical or emotional, but not all of life’s experiences are like that. I’m slowly getting a little treasure trove of information I can use.
Oh, and if you need the name of a good GP or eye specialist in Hobart, drop me a line!
I have a large collection of books I use when I write. I have books on poisons, forensic techniques, police techniques, real life anecdotes from FBI agents, legal guides, and so many more, and they have all come in handy from time to time. It seems whatever you need to learn about, there’s a guide available!
There are a few books I use regularly to check facts and learn how things work in real life. My favourite 7 are:
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Private Investigation
I bought this book as it had several reviews stating it is ‘more useful than private investigator course text books ‘. It covers a wide breadth of private investigation techniques and I use it regularly for the White Rose series of books.
7000 Baby Names
I need to introduce a new character, usually a minor one, and their name is….? A quick flick through my book of baby names and the problem is usually solved. Failing that, I turn to my Facebook followers who always come up with the goods.
Top 10 Washington DC (Travel Guide)
This is a handy reference with maps and general information. Need a restaurant for my characters to dine at? This has the answer.
Forensic Botany: A Practical Guide
This is an amazing book that explains the basics of forensic botany in terms that even I can understand.
Violence: A Writers Guide
An excellent resource for those, like me, who have never thrown a punch.
When that word on the tip of your tongue won’t appear or you’ve already used a word way too many times. This book has a permanent spot next to my laptop.
The Emotion Thesaurus
I may be able to feel what my characters are feeling, but putting it into words isn’t so simple. This book digs me out of that hole every time.
What's it about?
My thoughts on writing, the research I do, and what interests and inspires me as a writer.
Want to know what goes on in my writing life? Sign up to receive Writing Roundup each month for updates, exclusive content, and more!