Been a while since I checked in here. Day job to work, guitars to play, miles to run (if you live in the UK, please do come and join me for the Killerton half-marathon in September…or the 10K race if I wimp out) but all the while, I’ve been unable to get Deception Crossing out of my head. The more I practice, the more miles I run up, the more vino blanco I chuck down my throat in between, the more I’m enjoying hammering words into the keyboard.

So where am I with it? I have 105,000 words of first draft, and I feel like I’m just over half way there. But it’s 105k of pure fly-by-the-seat- of-my-pants chaos. It’s a mess. It’s convoluted, unfocused, and the writing itself reads like I put all my big ideas in a shotgun and blasted them up my bedroom wall. Now I’ve got a bunch of sci-fi buckshot to clear up before the landlord kicks me out.

Yet a couple of nights ago I sat down, took notes, and saw some sort of clarity. Which is why I’ve opted to tidy-up and improve the focus before I write any more. Call it Draft 2 before Draft 1 is finished. And this is where I invite any purists who consider this a cardinal sin to simply bugger off. Because I feel like I have the makings of a story that will blow my readers away. Time to re-load that shotgun and aim it properly this time.

Also, I’m not writing the book I expected to. This is the reason I love being a ‘pantser,’ as we’re known. This book will be WAY too long if I go for the end point I originally had. So, I daresay the series might now be five books instead of the four I’d estimated. Cutting the events of Deception Crossing down will make it tighter, and far more exciting to read.

I haven’t enjoyed a set of my own characters this much for years. I’ve fallen in writer’s love with Daniel Penhallow’s evil schemes, my shape-shifting killing machine Screft and his own brand of snarkastic humour, Dakota Silverwood’s interplanetary daredevil playboy with an enigmatic smile, and feisty rebel commander Tanneth Sartathrin from the Carnathian Outlands, who’s far more of a daughter than rival army general Gandrem ever bargained for. Then there’s water-loving fugitive Oscar ‘The Otter’ Murdoch, who’s taken on a role I never expected in this story. He’s possibly my favourite character out of all my creations so far, and he’s behind the controls of a space craft again. Oh shit, remember what happened last time? And I now have a pretty spectacular long-term plan for how he meets Shadow.

Now where do I start with Shadow, the keystone in the bridge between two worlds? Actually, I’m going for lips sealed. I’m spoiling nothing. Except that I keep imagining that scene from The Sopranos where Tony calmly walks out from around a corner and blows his cousin away with a shotgun, and I put Shadow in Tony’s place with a different character in the cousin’s, and I find it being pretty believable. Even if Shadow could equally swear off killing from now on and try to make the world a different place in an entirely different way…I said try, but perhaps not succeed.

Release date? I’m wondering if I can have this wrapped and packaged by early next year. No promises, but I have my momentum and my mojo back at the moment. I’ve written my 2000 words for the day, made myself some decent food instead of just snarfing hot dogs for dinner, and blogged this up. I think it’s booze o’clock.

And I think I know what I want on this book’s cover now. Soooooo tempting to place the order. It’s as enticing as that bottle of chardonnay in the fridge. Must….wait…for…finished…book…