My Writing Year – 2022

For me, the start of a new year isn’t about reflecting on what has gone before, or organising my new (physical) diary, although setting that up does take a while. The first day of January for me, is a step forward from the day before, but it signals the need to have my creative house in order.

There’s something about a new diary, a new sketch pad, and, of course, for an author, a new book. I have three titles lined up and as I like to do, I’ll work through each steadily with no rush to finish anything too rapidly.

What have I got lined up?

Selena: Sea Nymph is intended to be a standalone, and however well it flows, if you’ll pardon the pun, I don’t intend to let the story tempt me into a sequel. I’m pleased to say that I have the first five chapters written and available for reading/comments in my Work in Progress menu. From Sunday, 6th February, only the first chapter will remain on view.

Crusader is a crime thriller, and will be worked on when the Selena manuscript is ‘resting’ for three or four weeks. The two books will take turns in commanding my attention. This is a system that has worked for me for a few years now.

The third proposed title for this year is Constance, which will be the sequel to Crusader. I wouldn’t normally suggest I was writing a sequel prior to the first story being written but on this occasion I’m confident that the premise will work. As you might expect, this second part will bring the story to a close.

Will I produce anything else this year?

I don’t intend any more novels during the year, and I’m still undecided about working on another anthology.

My wife and I have recently rejoined the camping fraternity with an updated set of wheels and a touring caravan. With luck and reasonable conditions I aim to spend more time mobile and on ‘research’ rather than writing.

My creative hands will continue to be full because I’ll be working for the Katya Cumming brand, which notably is seeing more attention than my work in recent times. It’s a strange feeling, to be successful anonymously. The stories are fun to write and when I last peeked at Katya’s website there was mention of a two-part novel, an anthology, and three novellas.

I’ll be reading widely as normal and beta reading for members of the IASD, but I might maintain a low profile on social media.

For now, from me, I hope you have a safe and prosperous year ahead, and you read (and write), as much as you hope to.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and as Bugs Bunny would say, That’s all folks.

***

Work in Progress

WIP on a ferry.

“It’s a Work in Progress,” a person says, but what do they mean?

For the handyman, it might be the new light fitting, which is presently hanging, disconnected from a wall.

For the gardener, it might be the new vegetable patch which is presently an oblong of overturned earth in a corner.

It is many things to different people, but none, in my opinion can utilise that phrase quite like an author. Of course, I’m biased—I’m an author, so the manipulation of words and the reader’s thought process are my craft. Let’s look at my ‘Work in Progress’.

Codename: Foxglove. This is presently in excess of 60k words and going well. It is a crime thriller which will see the conclusion of the Beyond The Law trilogy and spinoffs.

Crusader. Another crime thriller, introducing a new protagonist who starts the story as a police detective. The first chapter is written and the second is a group of passages which are not yet joined.

Constance. This is where artistic licence comes in. Unusually, this will be a sequel to a story not yet written. It is to be the follow-up to Crusader. In this case I have passages ready to create the first chapter.

Selena: Sea Nymph. My first attempt at sci-if/paranormal/fantasy, and therefore, I’m pleased that the first chapter is presently in three passages. They’re not yet set in the best sequence and that can prove challenging.

Enough? Not by a long way. I may have ceased producing erotica under my own name, but using my pen-name, Katya Cumming, there are six titles in the wings. A novel, an anthology and four novellas.

Why have so much on the go?

Two words—stress reduction.

When an idea comes to mind, I’m sure many authors continue with their latest story, (the primary Work in Progress), but at the back of their mind they might have the occasional distracting thought about another idea.

It was when this first happened to me several years ago that I sat with a coffee staring at my machine contemplating how to conquer the irritation. “Start them as they come to mind,” I told myself aloud. I never have ‘writer’s block’, and knowing that I have a wide range of projects ready to be addressed isn’t frustrating—I relax in the knowledge that I can go from one ‘world’ to the next on a day to day basis if I wish.

And now, dear reader, you know why I believe that authors can stretch that phrase better than most … after all, whatever the project, it is still a Work in Progress.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my thought. Comments are welcome.

Tom