Plotting and Planning

Thanks to everyone who has bought ‘Promenade with Death’. I am pleased with the good start it has had, though I feel quite disloyal to it now that I have jumped straight back into writing another novel. Although my plans don’t always come to fruition, and certainly not as quickly as I would like, I might have preferred to pause for a little longer and think about what to do next, except that I would have missed the start of National Novel Writing Month and probably wouldn’t have been able to catch up.

The need to plan has intensified over the past few months because I’ve had four potential novels vying for my attention. Now that I’ve published ‘Promenade with Death’ it’s ‘only’ three! There are also some related thoughts swirling around in my head. They’re mostly to do with making time to create more print editions, and whether it’s time for another cover change, but sometimes I even think about advertising and pricing, although both these topics stretch my mind in unfamiliar directions.

Anyway, at this point I feel confident in announcing that I have now started the first draft of ‘Pitkirtly XV’ (working title ‘Murder, or What You Will’) during November for National Novel Writing Month, which has come round again exactly as I thought it would, only faster.

Pitkirtly XV Starts Here!

It took me a little while to arrive at this decision, as I don’t usually write two Pitkirtly mysteries quite so close together. However, during October I realised that both the other stories in my head would require much more research than I had time for, so in order to do them justice I should wait until I had at least a month of lead-in time. One of these is a sequel to the now half-edited Brighton novel I was working on in the summer, and the other is ‘Quest 6’. After puzzling over where I could go next with the Quest series after the Berlin novel, which was the hardest to write but which I was happiest with in the end, I suddenly had an idea for a story which, by some weird synchronicity with current events, is set in Spain. I was both pleased and slightly alarmed when I had this flash of inspiration. Pleased because I had been on the brink of thinking I would never write another Quest novel, and alarmed because I could write everything I know about Spain in the 1950s  on the back of a stamp.

Just as well I enjoy a challenge, then!

Editions note

Part of my planning activity has resulted in a couple of different permutations of existing stories. So I’m working to put ‘Mysterious Pitkirtly’ and ‘Pitkirtly on Tour’ into one volume entitled ‘Mysterious Pitkirtly on Tour’, as well as adding the third ‘Edwardian Adventure to the first two to make ‘Three Edwardian Adventures’. For various reasons I’ve created paperback editions for these before sorting out the ebooks, and they are already available on

I would be happy to hear opinions from readers about this move, as I will be taking away the previous editions of these stories at some stage but I don’t want to do that if it’s likely to cause an outcry!

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