Now that 'Rutter's Reunion is finished and on sale, I have turned my attention to my seventh novel. 'The Ancient Realm' is the first part of a new trilogy, entitled 'A Queen's Heart'. This trilogy is a sequel to my original fantasy trilogy, 'A King's Head', which is already available (and my biggest selling books).
It is set five years later. Things have changed for the better in the Kingdom, Dragotar and Draal under the wise leadership of their new monarchs. Most of the surviving characters from 'A King's Head' reappear. There is also a raft of new characters as the narrative broadens its scope to take in a fabulous land, far across the sea, a land that is as ancient as it is mighty, yet whose destiny is inextricably entwined with those of the Kingdom, Draal and Dragotar as a deadly new menace raises its ugly head.
I began writing 'The Ancient Realm' last year and, for a while, alternated between writing it and 'Rutter's Reunion'. As both stories developed, however, it became clear that my brain would not cope with writing two entirely different novels at the same time, so I elected to finish 'Rutter's Reunion' first.
On returning to 'The Ancient Realm' I discovered the wisdom of that decision. The text ran to 313 pages (editing layout - about 250 pages published) and I was barely half way through the story. This would not do. I have a theory that too many fantasy novels are simply too long for their own good. Because the three parts of 'The Lord of the Rings' clocked the scales at around 400 pages each, their authors think that they have to do the same, so they pack their text out with screeds of pretentious waffle. I don't know how some of them ever get published at all. I belong to the 'less is more' camp, believing firmly that 350 published pages of quality stuff will trounce 500 pages of rubbish every time.
At present, I am going through what I had already written and deleting or rewriting everything that is superfluous or poorly written. So far I have managed to cut more than 20 pages (a word here, a sentence there, a paragraph somewhere else). I still have around 120 pages to edit before I can press on with the narrative, but it is certainly benefitting from the pruning and shaping up well.
Writer of Fantasy, thrillers, comedy - and anything else that takes my fancy.