What happened in the second half of 2023?!

Happy New Year! I hope you all managed to have a break over the festive season. As usual, an apology for the infrequent updates – life managed to get in the way of writing and editing in quite a significant way in the latter half of 2023, but I’m determined to make more progress in 2024, in a managed and kind way, of course.

Firstly – I’ve been doing a bit of technical tinkering over the break. Somehow, I’d managed to only buy the insecure version of my website address (http:// rather than https://) which meant that browsers occasionally redirected to a British property company! I’ve now got my SSL sorted, so there’s no redirect issue. Happy browsing!

I’ve been making steady progress on The Slow and Gentle Wyrd, which was meant to be a seasonal release at the end of last year. That definitely didn’t happen, but I’ll come back to it throughout 2024 and hopefully schedule its release for Christmas 2024. It’s a feel-good, comfy, cosy, low-stress read, and should be a little shorter than Small Places, so again, not a long or stressful read.

We’re also moving along nicely with Navigator / Parasites 3. It’s all planned out, although the actual writing and execution sometimes moves a bit differently to the plan. I often find that when I’m writing split-perspective novels, I want to continue writing from one perspective when I’m really in flow, which means a bit of hopping back and forth, cutting and pasting chapters and so on. Ultimately, it gives better continuity and flow, so I’m usually happy to go with whatever my brain commands! Mind you, there’s a lot to be done – it’s currently at 25k words, so we’re about a quarter of the way there, without any kind of editing etc. It should be finished this year, but I can’t be more specific than that.

In terms of other bits and pieces, I’ve been enjoying a number of rereads in the last few months. I’m about three quarters of the way through William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition, which is an all-time favourite of mine. I’ve also been doing a re-read of Laurell K Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series, which I never finished; the story / narrative side of things seems to evaporate around book three, but it’s all on my local library’s app, so I’m willing to give it another try! I’ve always been fascinated with modern takes on the fey / faerie, and book one is superb.

Otherwise everything has been fairly quiet – I definitely needed a bit of a rest and a break, and hopefully it’ll supercharge the months to come!

Where do I write?

I love to write in cosy places. There’s a part of me that feels like writing is absolutely baring your soul, and if you’re going to be doing that, then you need a safe place.

Of course, there’s a part of me that things this is rubbish, that I’ve always been self-conscious and that I just like being in cosy places per se, but who knows?

I’ve written quite a lot in hotels and on trains. I grew up travelling on trains quite a lot, and there’s something about being able to watch the world go by, without necessarily being involved in it, that really resonates with me. This extends to hotels as well; I love a hotel with a good view and was lucky enough to recently spend a weekend in the Rotunda in Birmingham, looking out over Grand Central (and beyond) from the 17th floor. Birmingham also has a killer library with multiple roof gardens, so it’s a bit of a writer’s haven for me.

Oddly, I’ve never really been attracted to the seaside to write; I know a lot of people who love to write looking over the water, but I’m much more of an earth / cityscape person.

And I write quite a lot at home in London; I used to write in coffee shops, but I’ve started to struggle to shut out noise as easily as when I was younger, which has made things tougher, but a good pair of headphones is a decent solution for that!