Work in progress blog tour

This is my contribution to the Work in Progress Blog Tour. You can follow the links to and from my post to find out about what various writers are doing at the moment.

Thanks to David Wailing, author of the ‘Auto’series – an often very scary glimpse of what we might be in for if social media and other technology carries on developing the way it’s going – for nominating me to carry on the tour. Here’s a link to his own post about ‘Auto 2’:


These are the rules for participants:

  1. Link back to the post of the person who nominated you.
    2. Write a little about and give the first sentence of the first three chapters of your current work in progress.
    3. Nominate some other writers to do the same.


I see David has joked in his post about how much I write, so I don’t think it will come as a surprise when I reveal that I have multiple works in progress just now. In fact this isn’t always the case, because it can be much harder to write more than one thing at the same time. But it has happened this year that for some weeks I couldn’t face even looking at the novel I wrote in November for National Novel Writing Month, so I planned the third novella in my Edwardian series in the mean-time, and then I managed to write the first draft of the novella while the NaNoWriMo novel was away for printing (a proof-reading copy) after some essential edits and the addition of around 12,000 words. It has also happened that I’ve decided, for reasons that are fairly mysterious even to me, that I should probably make a start on the ninth novel in my mystery series in March, so I’ve been mulling over scenarios, titles and plot ideas for that as well as almost making myself late for a meeting by taking a few preliminary notes.


Anyway, because the novella is the freshest in my mind as well as being a guilty pleasure because it was such fun to write, I will use that as my ‘work in progress’ for now.

This story is set in Edinburgh in 1911 when dramatic events occurred at the Empire Palace of Varieties – and not just as part of the scheduled stage acts, either. I have chosen to view some of the scenes from the viewpoint of an Italian clarinettist, Antonio.


Chapter 1


Antonio stared at the woman. She had been watching the rehearsal from a box on the first tier, her sketchbook balanced on the ledge in front of her. From time to time she leaned over the book, apparently drawing in it with a pencil or perhaps a stick of charcoal.


Chapter 2


‘Could we not get the train instead?’ whined Betsy as they crossed the road at Canonmills and made their way along by the Water of Leith.

‘We’d just have as far to walk to get to the station,’ said Mrs Martin. ‘I don’t know why you’re so tired all the time. When I was your age we used to have to walk everywhere. We didn’t have the money to get the train or the tram. It didn’t do us any harm.’


Chapter 3


The Great Lafayette was in an even worse mood today. One of the violinists said his dog, Beauty, famously the most pampered canine in Europe, was ill. But at least the rehearsals were over and done with, the show had gone ahead and the audiences had poured into the theatre as usual.



But that’s more than enough about me for now. I have asked fellow-writers Matthew Drzymala and Anne Stenhouse to continue the tour. Their posts about works in progress will be available any day now if you follow the links below.

Matthew is the writer of the Bumpkinton series of stories set in a quintessentially English village. I think if you like the Pitkirtly Mysteries you will be interested in his work too. Here’s a link to Matthew’s blog:

Anne is a writer of historical novels including ‘Bella’s Betrothal’, set in Edinburgh in the 18th century. I’ve very much enjoyed reading these, and I look forward to finding out what she’s working on next. Here’s a link to Anne’s blog:

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