Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Working on Bridge of The Broken while my agent's readers finish off The Last Captain. My enjoyment of the new is tempered by ever-present concern over what will happen, whether I met the bar with The Last Captain.

When I submitted A Friend to The Watch, my first novel, I was more excited than nervous, thinking I had conquered all. I tried to be clever about making my protagonists, members of the watch, act like modern police officers. I tried to be clever about a lot of things. In the end, I overestimated the quality of both my cleverness and my work. Needless to say, it didn't turn out; deservedly so.

It took me some time to recover from the failure of it.

An incident at WFC 2009 thrust home for me just how much I had invested in A Friend To The Watch working out for me. Like most useful lessons, it was painful.

That sharp lesson in mind, I at last acted on the sound advice of my agent, putting A Friend to The Watch away and concentrating on The Last Captain.

I threw the kitchen sink into it; many of the experiences I've had, more of the thoughts and feelings those experiences gave rise to, I put in. It wasn't easy, and like the lessons I spoke of, it was even a bit painful at times. In the end I produced something that certainly feels better, more true -something I hope will succeed where the first effort failed.

The wait will be all the more grinding for the hope I have in it.

I will write on.


  1. I'm not even close to where you are in the process, but plainer, sager words were never written in advice to the burgeoning writers of the world. Write on, brother. Write. On.

  2. Thanks, Jess, thanks very much... And you as well, keep pressing knowledge into the minds of the next generation, that they can fix all we have made a mess of!

  3. Must always have hope. That's the first lesson. And it seems you've mastered it ;)

    Good luck with subs! Feel the excitement, let go of the worry. It'll just torture you. But hope? May it never die.