I began this week thinking there would be no news for the blog but it seems I was wrong. First I would like to share some writing news with you all. The fifth book in the “Alex Hastings” series is due out next year though the actual publication date depends on a lot of things beyond my control. I’m waiting for an editor and for my publisher to do the cover design and say whether he or I will supply the “blurb”. Then the e-book version needs setting up and final proofs have to be checked. This is the tedious but so important part of publication – and it takes months sometimes!
I had finished the book itself several times in a number of different forms over the last few years. This is because I became embroiled with an agent (who will be nameless) who promised a lot but seemed to constantly change her mind about what she wanted. After rewriting, editing and adding sections she finally decided she wanted the whole thing moved to the year 2020. Eager as I was, this was a step too far – and impossible. The Levels have changed beyond recognition since the 1980s, the Probation Service scarcely exists and Alex and her friends would be retiring. Now restored to its former, more coherent form I hope “A Long Shadow” will be with you soon.
Even more exciting in some ways is the news I have signed a TV option for “Death of the Elver Man”. Jon Moore, the manager of a new media company, Blue Trotter Media Ltd is hoping to turn it into a four or six part drama and has also taken future options on the other books so if it is a success there may be more. Now is the time to start “fantasy casting”! Jon is very skilled and experienced with TV and film work to his name, particularly in the field of special effects and prosthetics. Moving into production will be a new step for him and I am looking forward to working with him and the team.
Now, I promised an update on the boot. Well, that is all turning rather strange. When I went into the wood to dig it up earlier this week it was gone. There was no sign of digging, nothing seemed disturbed but I couldn’t find it anywhere. After a lot of hunting I spotted the sole propped up against one of the oak trees. The disappointing news is it is just the sole of an old canvas trainer or something like that but – how did it get there? I also found a discarded medical mask pushed into a pile of sticks and grass off to one side. That was definitely not ours.,
Of course, as a crime writer I am constantly making up stories and constructing narratives so here are some possible explanations. Most prosaically it was moved by a fox or badger – but then why was there no sign of digging? It had probably been there for years, certainly as long as we’ve been in the house so why now? And would an animal have propped it up neatly on a tree? If it was human intervention maybe something was buried under it and retrieved. Or perhaps it pointed towards something buried or hidden and it was moved to hide the trail from prying eyes. Or maybe someone is just messing with our heads.
So, for all those of you who wonder, “Where do you get your ideas?” there’s always something you can toy with. Everything is copy, they say and the world is full of details and events that can become a story.
Finally, there’s still no movement of the car – or movement of the car. Fingers crossed for next week. I’m checking my bike over as I may need to do the cycle ride into the nearest town soon. And this week I wrote more of Alex Hastings 6, including two “crane” days. Feels like a successful week after all.