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.

back to editing ‘the golden brick’ and making decisions as to the tone. I’ll be making my main character more desperate and underhand and bumping up the humour. Had a good writers group meeting last week and the recommendation was to keep the story in the ‘now’ and not do timeshifting which is something I have done a bit in this book. It’ll be a hefty re-write, but needs doing.

Got to near enough on the 20k, so reviewing the MS so it is at least syntactically in good nick before I pass it on to get it checked by my man who knows a bit about police procedure. Once I part company with it I’ll be back to The Golden Brick for a bit of a shake-up and see what tone I am happiest with. Am thinking a strong comic tone suits best.

creeping inexorably towards 20k words at  which point I will be doing an about-turn and fleshing out my main characters before sending the 20k first to a reader who has knowledge of police procedure and then, hopefully to submit it to a publsiher, my first such endeavour in many years.

16k into Kilban and its getting nicely set up for the mayhem that is to unfold. I have someone with a good knowledge of police procedure set up to read through it once I have 20k done. That way I can be confident that I’m not making gaffes all over the place. I still don’t know exactly how its going to pan out which I guess is a good thing. Have a good idea of the very end but that’s about it.