I put the finishing touches to Book 2 last week, you may be glad to hear. All done!
Well. Um. Not quite, let's be honest, but it's off to the copyeditor now, meaning it'll come back with a few queries, lots of small fixes, and probably a humungous plot hole or two being flagged up.
So it's finished except for one more very precise edit and then the page proofs, meaning I only have to go through the entire novel with a fine tooth comb at least twice more.
There has to be a writing adage that if you don't think your book is among the worst ever written, then you should probably do a few more drafts, because by the time it's printed a writer (a conscientious one, anyway) will have read it a dozen times. At least. (Much of which is rereading variations of the same paragraph as you tweak and rewrite and cut and...)
I can think of only one novel I've ever read twice, and I really can't imagine reading something twelve times through choice, let alone in such a short space of time. It's a painful part of the process, believe me, but the ultimate reward gets closer at every stage.
Now that I've been a full-time writer for a year, my daughter (who has similar aspirations) asked me how I felt about it.
Being a writer, I told her, is somewhere between 'dreaming awake' and 'stabbing yourself in the eye'.
I'm sure she thought I was being my usual tongue-in-cheek self, but in the final stages of a book it feels pretty damn true.
The working title for the book was Acolyte; the actual actual title has now been chosen, but I'll hold off telling you that until there's also a cover. Publication will be late Spring or early Summer next year.
You want to know a little about it, eh? Be patient!
Right now, I have to get started on Book 3. Also, The Returned book 2 will kick off when I get the super-secret scripts for season 2 in the new year. I may not sleep much...