September has flown by so quickly that it’s hard for me to believe that a whole month has nearly passed since my last update. The Northumbrian Saga is still moving along nicely in the Amazon/ Kindle store and I have had some very positive responses from readers on Amazon.uk, Goodreads and my Facebook page. So thank you to those people for taking the time, the Cheshire cat has nothing on my smile when I read your reviews. Unfortunately my Amazon.com page is looking a bit bare so if anyone has finished reading and enjoyed the story, you are more than welcome to leave a comment on there (or any of the other platforms of course).
Most of my free time since the release of TNS1 has been dedicated to the sequel. So far it is just called TNS2, as I keep changing my mind over the possible names. My thinking with the series is that each will have a geographical location and a type of book or source as the name. E.g. The Northumbrian Saga, The Yorkshire Chronicle, The Durham Psalter etc. For the second book however, I have been having a bit of trouble coming up with a name. Because Wales and Ireland feature more prominently throughout the story, it has gone from The Cumbrian ?, The Cambrian Codex (after the Cambrian Annals), The Welsh Codex, The Irish ?, and now I think i’m sticking with The Irish Fragments… for now. It is named in honour of the real Irish fragments (The Fragmentary Annals of Ireland), but I think the location and the word ‘fragment’ best sum up what the second book will cover. Although of course between now and when I finish writing it could change again.
At this stage I am still researching and outlining, however most of it seems to be coming together really well thanks to a spurt of creativity recently. I love this stage as everything I learn is so new and there are endless opportunities for storylines. However, as you guys will have noticed from the Historical Profile Posts I have been writing, sometimes the facts aren’t that easy to come by, or understand, so some sections of the story I already know what happens and how; others are a little bit murkier. The first quarter of the book is already flowing nicely but I have hit a spot where nothing really happens, both historically and in terms of my characters’ lives. I’m trying to work out the best way of moving this along without skipping a huge chunk of time or wasting pages on boring filler. There needs to be a balance of the two, i’m just trying to work it out.
As far as word count goes, I have written 40, 380 words (half of which I started a few months back when I was growing sick of editing TNS1) and my goal is to have a 1st draft, no matter how crappy it is, written by Christmas. I am hoping that this book will be a bit shorter, hopefully around the 100, 000 word mark. So far it looks as though it might be a bit tight. However, I am really pleased by my efforts so far. Roughly two months of writing and almost halfway towards the first draft, a lot quicker than TNS1.
I am still planning on keeping you all up to date on my progress in these posts, but if you want to be notified by email when the sequel, or any other future projects will be released, then join my mailing list here. You will be among the first to know!
The sequel has been taking up all my free time at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped me from dreaming up other stories. There must be something about finishing and publishing a novel that gets the creative juices flowing. I have been toying around with a number of ideas, including a prequel and a new series altogether. Even when I was writing The Northumbrian Saga I had a semi formed history in my head of Aethelwin’s life before she got married, more from the perspective of her father and mother and how Ailith’s mother comes into the picture. I wanted to do a much smaller novel, possibly even a novella which I could post as a weekly instalment on the website. It would mean that Paega’s love triangle would be told, a bit of background for King Osbert coming into power and a lead up to his problems with Aelle his bastard brother would be explained, as well as introducing a few more characters and events from Northumbrian history. I think it would be a really cool project to pursue, however I don’t want to get too side tracked from the TNS sequel, and the series in general.
And other than trying to come up with interesting weekly posts, that is all the writing I have been doing (which honestly is more than enough). Between writing, work, and trying hard to catch up on my reading list, there hardly seems time for anything else.
So for a while at least this is goodbye from me. Have a great month everyone, and don’t forget to get your copy of The Northumbrian Saga. There is an excerpt from chapter 5 here, for those of you who haven’t read it yet and are curious, and for those who have, don’t forget to give a review on Amazon.com or Goodreads, or drop me a line about what you thought via email, on Facebook or on this website.
A H Gray