Wednesday 25 May 2011

A Chronicler Of Lives

Tomorrow sees the publication of my second novel, Cold Cruel Winter, a continuation of the Richard Nottingham series begin in The Broken Token. At the end of last week I received the first copy of it, a lovely hardback with a wonderful cover, enhanced by some delightful quotes pulled from reviews for the back cover.

When I began that first book I had no idea that it would become a series, that Richard Nottingham and John Sedgwick would take on lives of their own. But that’s exactly what’s happened. In my head they’re living, breathing people, and the Leeds of the 1730s is as alive to me as the city centre I sometimes walk around.

At this point I’m midway through book 4 – the third should appear early in 2012. It’s a decidedly odd feeling, popping into someone’s life periodically and describing what’s going on with them. But that, I guess, is just what a series of books hopes to achieve, to transport the reader back into this other world again and again.

I’m proud of Cold Cruel Winter. To me, the writing has improved greatly, it flows more easily, and there’s a good tale to tell. There’s more depth to the characters, as I know them more thoroughly, their voices are louder and more individual. They’ve all grown, as part of the real pleasure as a writer is describing that growth, those changes, how lives have moved on. I’m not the author so much as the chronicler of lives, and I’d have it no other way.

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