Sally, my PA, says it’s now officially autumn in London. I’m not buying this, as I’ve yet to have my summer holiday (I go next week, off to try some refreshing wines in the delightful vineyards of the Spanish countryside). London is glorious at the moment, fecund and lush and warm, but soon will come the sinking of the sap, the creeping grey, the first colds and millions of spiders.
Still, I can rest in the knowledge that I spent the summer productively. When others dashed off to the beach I remained shackled to my MacBook (which has just died on me, possibly from overuse) and have now delivered not one but TWO Bryant & May books, the long novel ‘The Lonely Hour’, and a further collection of twelve missing cases called ‘Bryant & May: England’s Finest’ (another title taken from the old matchboxes). This takes care of the old gits for a year (although I need to start a further volume by March to stay on schedule), and I can concentrate on a new thriller.
At the moment I have two ways to approach this; 1. I can make it a straightforward suspense chiller with a twist and a punchy denouement. Or 2, I can make it a stranger beast, more open-ended, odd and eerie. My instinct says goes for 2, my mortgage says go for 1.
After that will come ‘The Foot On The Crown’, my early medieval epic, which takes as its jumping-off point the ‘Britannica Castle’ stories. This will be a mad, dark and very-nearly-but-not-quite historical pageant of weirdness. Keith Page did a great many delicious drawings for it when it was gestating a few years back, so it may be time to resurrect them. His take was more fantastical than what I’ve ended up with, but they have real charm.
So, lots more coming up and much work to do. Meanwhile, the wines beckon!