This afternoon I sent the page proofs of THE MISSING, and my corrections, to my editor. I think it was around January last year that I was finalizing my research and preparing to start plotting this novel. A year. That’s how long it’s taken to get this novel ready for publication. Maybe a little longer. I think I came up with the idea in December 2014. Either way it feels like it’s taken a very long time to take this novel from conception through to final copy.
And now I have to do it all over again.
While my publisher prepares ARCs (Advanced Review Copies) of THE MISSING, distributes them and then prints the final paperbacks ready for publication on 21st April, it’s time for me to start work on my fourth psychological thriller. I ran the idea by my agent back in November and she said it was the best premise I’ve come up with so far. My UK publisher agreed. Now I ‘just’ have to plot and write the thing! It’s definitely my most challenging book in terms of research – there are a lot of procedures and processes I need to get right in order for the story to work and I’ve already talked to a few professionals to make sure that my plot is possible and credible. Next up is a trip to Ireland! I’ve never been on a research trip abroad before (I went to Nepal six years before I wrote THE LIE) and I could probably use the memories of previous trips to Ireland (mostly to Anam Cara, a writing retreat near Castletownbere) but I want to experience the journey my character takes. I want to get on the same ferry, travel down the same roads and stay in the same B&Bs. Unfortunately I can’t drive so I’m taking a friend with me. We’ve got a lot of early starts planned.
That trip is happening in February and, between now and then, I need to sign off the final proofs of the US edition of THE LIE (out in June) and start plotting this book. The tighter I plot it the quicker I should be able to write the first draft – in theory anyway. This is the sixth novel I’ve written (I wrote two romantic comedies before I started writing psychological thrillers) and books always have a way of taking turns you don’t expect when you actually start writing them and really get to know your characters.
With any luck I’ll get started towards the end of February, then there’s the small matter of promoting THE MISSING when it comes out in April and the US edition of THE LIE in June. It’s a good job I took three weeks off in December because it looks like I’m going to be busy for the foreseeable future…