I finished the first draft of my new book, 'The Power of Four Queens' on Sunday. It topped out at a whopping 524 pages (or 128,000 words, using the time-honoured editors' method of calculating). This, of course, is too long and I am now doing some rigorous pruning. Already I have chopped fourteen pages (or about 4,000 words) out of it and there is still much to do. The cutting isn't 4,000 consecutive words, of course. It is a word here, a phrase there, a paragraph somewhere else, but it all adds up. I have now redrafted about a fifth of the book and it is looking much sharper already. By the time this redraft is complete, I expect to have the overall length down to something like 475 pages. That would be a more appropriate size for a story such as this. That done, the process of serious editing can get under way. This involves printing the work out and going through it with a fine tooth comb both forwards and backwards. There are still several weeks' worth of work ahead of me before I can publish - but the result should be worth the effort.
'The Power of Four Queens' is the final instalment of my 'Queen's Heart' trilogy, itself the sequel to 'A King's Head'. Although the story is brought to a definite conclusion in this narrative, one thread does remain unresolved, although it is an aside to the main storyline rather than a central theme. That thread will be concluded in a forthcoming appendix. You might have to wait a while for it, though, because I feel the need to write another Rutter book first. The appendix already has a title, which will be revealed to anyone who buys the book. As things stand at the moment, however, it has not yet been started.
No cover yet. My resident cover artist, Number Two son, Paul, now lives 350 miles away on the south coast, so I will have to do the job myself. Expect one in the next mont