Who is Sylvia?

Sylvia is the character who is occupying much of my time recently. When I wrote Light at The End, it was intended as a standalone, but although it was a fulfilling story to write, there was more to say, and so it became the first of a trilogy.

In much the same way, I ended the third book in the LaTE trilogy feeling that the job was done, and then while working on something completely different I was nagged by the thought that Sylvia’s story ought to be told. She made several appearances in Dark to Light (LaTE – Book 3), but it was more of a cameo role. By implication, Sylvia continued beyond the main story, and so I feel justified in giving her a starring role.

I’ve shelved my other two new novels while I devote many of my daylight hours to Sylvia. To tell one person’s story might be fun for the author, but it’s the reader’s satisfaction which ought to be the author’s primary aim. With this in mind, I’ve created a well-rounded back-story for my leading lady and, of course, there will be interaction with old and new characters in the wider arena of the post-apocalyptic world in which she lives.

Other projects will be tackled whenever I leave Sylvia aside for a regular ‘rest’.

The frontrunner in other work, and my next anthology, is Next Steps: and other stories. I now have my seven stories written to first draft stage, and next week I’ll revisit them to see where any early improvements might be made. I’ll leave them aside again until March and revisit before they go to beta readers.

In March, I’ll give a heads-up to those authors who suggested the ‘dialogue prompts’ which I used for my seven stories. This will hopefully provide the impetus for my guests to check out the submissions they are offering for the new collection. Publishing date at present might be as early as April or May.

What else have I been up to since this new year got underway?

I’ve been working hard to produce my novels as paperback versions and I now have the job done. I’ll be writing a dedicated post about the process, or as it became for me, the ‘journey’, but for now, I’ll give you a look at a few of my efforts. I’ll display the full range of my paperbacks in March.

As always, thank you for taking an interest in my work.

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My New Writing Year – 2021

What could be better than a new year and a new start?

I’m aiming for four new starts and they are on an equal footing as I get underway. Let’s see what the line-up offers. The first is a collection of short stories, for which I have writing prompts as my inspiration. The second is a vigilante who is the new face of summary justice in a world that my readers know well. The third is a spinoff to tell an unusual single character’s story. The fourth may not have any background material, but he’s as real to me as the next person who walks down the street.

Next Steps is an invitation anthology of short stories. For this collection, I requested any authors in the Indie Author Support and Discussion group (IASD) to supply me with a writing prompt. The prompt was to be a dialogue between no more than two characters and to be no more than thirty words. I will write six short stories (attributing the prompts appropriately). The authors themselves will submit one or more short stories, and their website links for inclusion in the anthology.

Codename: Foxglove is a crime thriller sequel to Codename: Nightshade. It means, of course, that Rachel Donoghue will be back on the scene. This story will see the development of Dominique McEwan (Foxglove) who was introduced in Nightshade’s story. Members of the original Beyond The Law team will make appearances, and so too will secondary characters from the Nightshade tale.

Sylvia: Beyond the Apocalypse is a spinoff from Light at The End, my popular, zombie-free, post-apocalypse trilogy. When my foray into a refreshed world captured the imagination of readers and produced good reviews, I knew I’d have to tell this character’s story. 

 

Crusader is a crime thriller. The inspiration for the main character and the story came from one of the tales in my latest anthology, Shadow: and other stories. I like Jason already and I have written the first chapter. The lead character will no doubt have a few ideas too.

Is there anything else on the cards?

I’ll be reading regularly, just as all authors should, and I’ll be reviewing. I expect to be beta reading for members of the IASD.

Does Katya Cumming have any new titles being uncovered in 2021?

Yes, a story was started early last year but due to being written piece-meal in the background, it became unwieldy. When the final draft is completed it will be broken at a logical point and published as a two-part tale.

If you’d like to see how my three new novels are shaping up, the first chapter is available for each on the WIP menu.

And now, without further ado, let’s get this literary year underway.

Tom