David, after a somewhat long period of silence, has reappeared with some news and updates. Full text below the break. Big thanks to him for sending!
Coming Up For Air…
I know… I’ve been silent, very silent indeed. And you might be forgiven for wondering what the **** I’ve been up to. The answer is that I’ve been fully immersed, fifty fathoms deep, in writing the third and last of the ROADS TO MOSCOW books – THE MASTER OF TIME. What previously only existed as notes and a long synopsis is now a partially completed manuscript of 55,000 words, with another 3,000 or so words being added every day. Roughly about a third of the way through this final volume. The plan is to get it finished by the end of June and then to give it a final fine polish.
It’s great to be back working on this. I’d almost forgotten the sheer delight of doing it – the way your mind goes into hyper-drive and starts coming up with all kinds of stuff … among it some really weird shit that comes from the darkest recesses of my head and which, I guess, made me a science fiction writer in the first place.
Also, because it is a meticulously worked out time travel story, there’s the added joy of ‘returning’ to earlier scenes and linking up the loops and… well, like yesterday. I had a scene – scene 392 – which links directly back to scene 9, right at the very start of the story (page 28 of the trade paperback that you can buy seven days from now), only because you’ve had thirteen hundred pages between the two, the link is exceptionally strong. We return, sure… but with understanding.
Yes, and I’ll be returning to that later on today. First a brief catch-up.
The last few months have been dominated by Sue’s various injuries. First she had some problems after some pretty major dentistry, which caused her to be in serious pain for weeks. Then, just as that seemed to have resolved itself, she fell upstairs and broke her foot. Not that she knew that for eight days – until she final went into Accident and Emergency and got “a boot”, specially designed to encase her leg and foot. Since when she’s been hobbling around like Long John Silver, with her crutch, that’s when I’ve not been running up and downstairs to get things for her. The last few days she’s been up in Manchester, in the north of England, for a two day conference for Coronation Street, for whom she writes, but she’s back from that now, so our usual habit of both working at the big kitchen table has resumed, though, when the weather improves, one of us – probably me – will be re-locating out to the garden office.
My schedule for the next year is pretty straightforward. As I said above, I’ll be finishing THE MASTER OF TIME, and then – after a brief break for holidays – I’ll be getting back to CHUNG KUO, writing the last four books one after another (there’s a fair amount of it that exists already), with the aim of getting it all done by the end of 2015, or maybe Spring 2016. Books 9-14 are already reworked and polished, so – once we’ve decided how we’re going to do this – we’ll have six books to re-launch. Books 15 and 16 need refurbishment, otherwise they’re ready too. But, knowing how disappointed you guys get at the delays, I am not going to release anything until I can be absolutely certain that I can produce the books one after another, hopefully with a volume every two months, available on eBooks, but also – we hope – as Print on Demand trade paperbacks to try and match the first eight.
Which means CHUNG KUO will be going into hibernation as a project for at least a year-to-eighteen months. Fortunately, during that period, I’ll have the ROADS books coming out, so don’t despair.
I also have two finished and polished science fiction novels which I aim to get eBooks out of in the next year or so, IMAGINE A MAN and THE BEAST WITH TWO BACKS. “Beast”, the stronger of the two works, I might try with publishers, especially as I’ve got a sequel to it plotted and planned and in its very own filing box. It’s about two twins – brother and sister – who are both telepathic and psychopathic. A wonderfully weird combination…
As I said earlier, the first ROADS TO MOSCOW novel – THE EMPIRE OF TIME – will be out in the shops and available a mere seven days from now, on April 3rd. After what happened with Corvus, it’s particularly nice to have the promise of it being in the bookstores over here – something that simply wasn’t happening with the CHUNG KUO books, and I’ve every confidence that my wonderful editor, Michael Rowley, will get the trilogy the attention it deserves. Yes, and foreign sales, too.
Okay. That’s it for now. But I’ll be back here tomorrow, with some more comments on what’s been going on. In particular, a few words on my meeting with my (ex) publisher. So bye for now.
David Wingrove 27th March 2014
PS; just in passing, today is the thirty sixth anniversary of Sue and I meeting up, at a science fiction convention – the Eastercon – at the Heathrow Hotel (back in 1978). The late and wonderful Rob Holdstock introduced us (Sue was working for Faber & Faber, his publishers, as their publicity manager) and, having missed the last tube, she drove me home. And here we are… all those years later, with all our books and our four lovely girls.