almost a year since I posted anything. Have completed the first of what will be a crime fiction series and am well into the second. Changed my central character to Jim McGrattan. He’s an ex-Garda turned private eye. Am concurrently writing a romantic comedy set in a school. This will be done under a pen name and is written from a female perspective. Am coming to the end of the first of these. Once I have two of each series done I’ll publish them and see if there’s an appetite for a third.

uploaded ‘The Big No No’ then unpublished it two weeks later as I wasn’t happy with the initial reaction. It’s a book I wasn’t sure about and had taken a different direction when I was halfway through it, but decided to finish it anyway. Could work well with a bit of editing and switching the narrative around so will try that. Work going well on ‘Kilban’ so that’s where the focus is at the moment, the first of a trilogy of pure crime fiction books.

Book gone to proofreader. two weeks till it’s back. Need to start doing cover photo etc. Have a nice little idea for what I want so hope it’s workable. The book is dark comedy, downfall type of stuff so the cover will reflect that. Chuckle chuckle.

a poem is never finished. It is only set aside. Somebody famous said that- Wilde or Joyce and that’s the way it feels with ‘The Golden Brick’. Keep trawling back through it and finding little things to improve on. Had an edit done, so going back through that and ‘accepting’ or ‘rejecting’ changes. Will send it off by the end of the week for a second pass and a proofread and hopefully that will be the end of the writing, then down to cover design etc. I want to produce paper versions of both this one and ‘The Money Walks’ and see where I go from there.

sent The Golden Brick off this morning to get an edit. Hoping they won’t come back and say ‘the book is grand but the main character really doesn’t work’ or some such levelling feedback. It relies heavily on the one central character so if he isn’t at the races then the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. ‘Nibs crossed’ or whatever expression writers use instead of ‘fingers crossed’.

finishing touches put on book number two and e-mailed it to two people for a gut reaction. This is the point where you tell yourself it could be an absolute pile of………or it could actually be quite good- polarity of vision keeps the blood flowing!

zero blog posts in November. One could take this as an indication of foot-off the pedalness but, au contraire, it is not the case. It is just a case of kind of forgot about the blogging thing. Have joined a crime writers group, meeting once a month in Temple bar and hosted by Laurence O’Bryan of booksgosocial an online book marketing company based in Temple Bar. The standard in the group is high and its inclination not warm and cuddly so that’s perfect. Good feedback! I read from Kilban and got some good pointers, read from The Golden Brick and again, good feedback. There are some key elements in the story-telling process that I was not as aware of, but feel better informed, ie. don’t take the reader out of the moment for the sake of exposition, something I was def guilty of.

I am ramping up the ante in terms of main character in The Golden Brick so his back is well and truly against the wall, hopefully giving more insight into what makes him what he is at the same time, but finally, giving context to the desperate measures he is driven to. Kilban is on the back-burner for the moment. Had someone read through it who is well-informed on Garda procedure and he was positive about it in terms of story, pointed out a couple of small technical things that needed changing, so that was much appreciated. I hope to have The Golden Brick ready for an edit mid-January and will get back to Kilban while I’m awaiting results.

Have also started a non-fiction venture based on my occasionally mis-fired attempts at being a second level Guidance Counsellor. It’ll be a study of teaching methods and how they can go pear-shaped but it will also be a study of teenagers and try to get to the root of whether they are a different species entirely. It’s going to be a long-term project, but I kept a journal from my first three years, so I’ll be drawing on that as well as teaching theory and of course adolescent psychology.

Conor O’Neill, the hero of The Golden Brick is being fleshed out. I’m still waiting for a eureka moment when I say yes, that’s him. At the moment sticking various bits of scaffolding around him and seeing what emerges. I have a good idea of who and what he is, but I would like to make that more tangible.