I’ve lost count of the occasions when it’s been tempting to use the phrase ‘three steps forward two steps back’ in my writing career. If memory serves I posted an item with that headline on this blog a few years ago. There were some days when I thought the situation was reversed and progress wasn’t being made at all. I hope I’m more philosophical these days.

 In the four weeks since my last post I’ve finished writing ‘Fatal Decision’ #1 in the Freeman Files Series. My sternest critic has read it and she pronounced it the best thing I’ve written to date.

That spurred me on to start on ‘Last Orders’ book #2 so that I took advantage of the rhythm I had finally achieved when the first book neared completion. Three thousand words a day was being achieved with comfort.

I carried that on for the next five days or so and now book two is 25% done. However, it’s been tough going. Without spoiling the plot of either book, the first had a victim with a decent sized family and lots of people with whom she came into contact. Gus Freeman and his team had at least a dozen interviews to undertake. There was background to the new characters to be revealed and the setting to be explained.  

The scenario I’ve chosen for the second story has only thrown up a handful of potential witness interviews so far and there are less introductions to be made. I’m trying hard to avoid the ‘flashback overkill’ that a lot of series writers suffer from. That’s fine in principle but in practice it means a lot more creative writing.

August has never been a great time for book promotions for me. I thought with summer holidays at their peak people would be searching for something to read on the beach. That was a ‘step back’ last month for sure. My return on investment was poor.

The other setback concerned my health. Cataracts had formed on both eyes maybe fifteen years ago, they were slow growing, but it was inevitable they would need to be removed at some point. I went for a consultation a fortnight ago expecting to get a date for the procedure on the left eye in six weeks time (early October).

However, I learned I have a membrane growing on the back of the left eye too and need to see a retinal surgeon to determine what happens next. Naturally, this would be a more complex operation if it was required and my plans of writing four of the six Freeman books before Christmas may have to be put on hold.

I’ll be back in four weeks with an update on progress on the book. As far as the other problem’s concerned, I doubt if I’ll have got an appointment by then knowing the parlous state of the NHS. C’est la vie or Here we go again.

Take care and best wishes. 

Ted Tayler


Categories: The Long Hard Road