The tenth volume of Bryant & May was a milestone for me, but also reached the end of my second story arc so I have a clean slate, as it were. They may never appear in the bestseller lists but the books sell consistently and are very well received, for which I’m continually grateful. But now I can choose in which direction to take the characters.
Which is where you come in. I thought I’d canvass opinion from the experts and find out if you think there’s something you’d like to see that I haven’t covered. I don’t mean ‘victim beaten to death with a swan’ or anything that specific, but in broad themes.
Here are some examples of what I mean. I could make the stories less plot-driven and more about the characters. I could make them more fantastical and bizarre. I could make more about the minor team members. I could make them darker.
So far I have several plot ideas I’m pursuing, but one idea keeps surfacing. Arthur and John have left a trail of case-mentions that I’ve not explored. In the course of a new investigation Bryant could reveal the truth about each of these cases, and use them to help solve his next case. On the plus side it would satisfy all those readers who ask me about the past cases, but on the minus side it would be episodic in nature, and is unlikely to sell as well as a straight novel. But it appeals to my Golden Age sensibilities to do such a book…
We’ll see how you vote, and I WILL listen. I realise how lucky I am to have the luxury of choosing what I want to work on next, but the important thing is to listen to feedback. Any author who doesn’t do that is an idiot.
The comic panel is from Keith Page’s lovingly rendered depiction of Bryant’s seance in the upcoming ‘Casebook of Brant & May’ this autumn.