This is one of those rare (I hope!) posts where I have to throw myself upon your kindness and ask, “Can you forgive her?!”
And by “her”, of course, I mean “me”, only I am slipping into the third person in order to distance myself from my own inefficiency.
I need a break before I finish the third part of the Arthur trilogy. I didn’t realise how complex a task it would be. Some books may not sell brilliantly well (although I have to say, for historicals, When First I Met My King and The Dragon's Tale performed better than I expected), but they mark a point in your career where you want to be able to look back and say, “Okay, I took my time there and I’m glad I did – if I’m going to be remembered as an author, I’d like it to be for this particular work or series.”
I’m proud of the Arthur books. The final volume, The Greenwood and the Grail, will bring together so many strands, make so many demands of me as a writer, that I want to do it right. And so I have to hold up my hands and say that a March release date isn’t feasible.
I’m really sorry, because I don’t like to break commitments. And I’m speaking from a position of relative privilege – my writing turnover last year was good enough that I can ease off – a little bit, anyway; Barbara Cartland we’re not, although she is of course everything I strive to be, particularly in the hair and furnishings department. Also, I want a Pekinese and a boa and a cover spot on the Cambridge Book of Essential Quotations.
Having said that, I have to admit that I’m not good with leisure. I tend to get ill because all the lurgies I’ve been putting off in order to meet deadlines come surging vengefully out of their hiding places. What I really need is a change, not a rest – a gear shift, a splash in warm, sunny waters after prolonged immersion in the mysterious Arthurian deeps. And by this change I hope to buy your forgiveness for the delay in delivering the end of Lance and Art’s story: my aim is to hit that March deadline instead with book nine in the Tyack & Frayne series.
I’m hoping most of you will be happy enough with this news to overlook the trilogy glitch. The Greenwood and the Grail will be a better book for having longer to ferment, and T&F book nine – Once Upon a Western Shore – will develop plot lines I’ve been longing to offer Gideon and Lee. Potential worst-case scenarios for Tamsyn’s gifts, a profound encounter with ancient Cornish magic, the joys and struggles of ongoing married life for our lads... Yes, I’m really looking forward to this, and I hope you like the cover art I’ve designed, which captures for me the detailed but dreamlike scenarios the book will unfold.
I’ll probably make this one available for pre-order, and I’ll keep you posted on that. I’ll also have the blurb and an excerpt with you soon. For now, I’m just in that enjoyable stage of letting ideas race around in the particle accelerator of my brain, bouncing off one another to unleash wondrous new concepts – or total destruction on a universal scale; who knows? :-D