I've just sent Jimmy Coates: Blackout into the world to be read by somebody else for the first time. I'm quite astonished that I've managed to get to this stage without going past my deadline. OK, it wasn't my original deadline (that flashed by about two months ago) but I've staill managed to get a lot done in a short time.
I also know that this is when the real work begins. The book has gone off to my agent, and I'm sure there's plenty more work to be done on it this week before I send it to my agent. But it'll be creative, rewriting work. The main brack-breaking slog of getting the thing written in the first place is over. (Did I just try to slip in that writing a novel is back-breaking? Take no notice of that.)
I can't believe I've written two complete books in the last 9 months.
I'm feeling a bit stunned. I'm physically more tired after this one than I have been after writing any of the others so far. It feels like it's taken me a lot longer to write, but actually, looking through my writing diary, it's taken me only a couple of days longer than any of the others. I'll have to add up all the stats properly at some point next week, but I think this one has stretched out over a longer period without actually taking me any more writing hours, if you see what I mean, simply because of all the events and travelling that I've done over the last few months.
It also looks like it might be the longest Jimmy Coates book so far. I'll trim it down a lot in the editing process, but I expect it'll still end up a bit thicker than the others.
At the same time, I know this one feels like it's been a lot more work because of the subject matter of the book.
This is a book that I think is going to live up to its title. It's a BLACKOUT of a book. Dark. Twisted. I thought Jimmy Coates: Survival was dark, and this one isn't necessarily darker, it's just dark in a different way. That makes no sense, but it feels like it's true.
So I suppose that's a warning of sorts. Expect some heavy action, gut-wrenching twists and a few dark, dark secrets.
If all goes well, you'll be able to read it in April 2009.
OK, now let's get started on the next one...