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Short and sweet, friends:
Second draft of my novel DEATH WATCH now completed. Small work still to be done, the polishing, you know. But we have book. Nearly there.
..and the new school term begins!
First draft of the first book inThe Undertaken series is due in next month! SO...writing, writing, writing. I mean, seriously: writing, writing, writing. But! I have cleverly left all my favorite parts until last, so everything I am working on now constitute, in my opinion, the coolest (read 'scariest' and 'strangest') parts of the book. But what am I doing here chatting with you when I should close the browser and get back to novel WRITING.....
Up late New Year's Eve to write a few paragraphs on the novel, you know, just to start the year as I mean to go on...
Hobgoblins book slowly moving towards gettin' done. I've seen nearly all the art now, and WOW! In this book, there is art by both Alan and Virginia Lee, Larry MacDougall, Gary Chalk, and Fernando Molinari...oh just wait until you see it.
But day and night, it is the novel. Last month, I made a large map of the town in which most of the book takes place. So, now I know where people are when they walk down a particular street and take a left! More than this, I needed to see how places in the town related to each other in space.
And then there are the dead who crowd around my writing table all wanting to have their say. It is a book of many voices, which is, I think, as it should be. More and more I see these ghost stories as being about allowing people (living or dead) to speak their peace, literally; about allowing the dead to tell their tales so that a place resolution may be found. Without such a space, a space where truth may reside, there is the stasis of limbo. My town is filled with them. Limbos. The Peony Lantern Tea House. The Theatre of Midsummer, The Coaching Inne, The Red Parlor, The Lonesome Valley, The Bowers of the Night Herons...all the curious places where the dead bide their time, still bound to earth and the affairs of the living. Somehow both lost and ever-present at once.
It is a great privilege to be able to spend so much time writing. That time requires the help of others. As the new year rises, I am so very grateful for my wife and family. Without their love, help, and support there would be no words. Thank you.
Work goes apace, Gentle Reader! This month, I am primarily working on my novel, The Death Watch, volume one in The Undertaken Trilogy. It has taken me into some strange territory...ghost lore and ancient wake customs, old family histories and post-mortem photography. I have never once kept anything I've worked on from my son, but these are not books I leave open on my desk.
Recently, I've also been working on the text for the third volume in my Secret Histories series,Hobgoblins. Those who are familiar with GOBLINS!, the book I did with Brian Froud, will find this a very different creature altogther. Here the focus is on folklore and hearth custom, about that strange and most mysterious of all mythic lands: home. This book is due for release next Summer in the UK, US edition a little later.
Lastly, Kris and I have just about finished our Life and Times of William Shakespeare, which I think may end up being one of the most visually attractive books ever. It's for children and has Shakespeare's voice running right through it, telling his own story in his own words. On the narrative partcularly, Kris has outdone herself and really brought the man to life for the young (or old) reader.
There are a few other little secret projects....more on them soon.