At last, I hear you cry, a post that isn’t just a link to a Japan Times article. Yes, of late my epistles to the outside world have been a bit samey, but there are good reasons for that. Obviously I’ve been productive for the paper and hopefully those pieces are of some interest, but I’ve also been submerged under novels #2 and #3. Now there is a crack in the ice and I can catch my breath. Silma Hill is approaching completion. The final proofread is done and in the next couple of weeks it will go to print before the release date of June 29th. I will be back in the UK from June 25th to July 12th for something of a book tour. As of yet nothing is confirmed other than my presence on the archipelago, more news as and when it breaks. Novel #3 is drafted. This means it is far from done but I have something to sculpt into a book. It’s a truth universally unacknowledged that writing a book is the easy part. Turning 90000 words of will-intentioned drivel into something people will pay to read and then recommend to others is the hard, time-consuming, spirit-crushing part. So I’ve got that to look forward to. However it’s with my agent at the moment so I can begin thinking about novels #4 and #5. Why do I do this to myself? And that’s my life. Exciting isn’t it? Other people’s lives are much more exciting at the moment, especially for two of my friends, Jane Alexander and Kirstin Innes. Their debut novels The Last Treasure Hunt (Saraband) and Fishnet (Freight) are out now. I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of Jane’s novel and to read an early draft of Kirstin’s, so I can say in all honesty they are both brilliant. Seek them out.