Sunday, 22 February 2009


Firstly, thanks to all those who've given such great feedback on the DEVIL'S KISS. I feel elated and slightly 'aw shucks' embarrassed. Glad you liked it. There's a small but perfectly formed children's book festival forming at Crystal Palace in April. I'll be there and it looks like we'll have a few early copies of DEVIL'S KISS out, a few weeks before the official release. Do come along just so I don't stand there like some lonely git. There's only just so many times I can have my wife pretend to be a complete stranger and ask for my autograph. I think I'm Saturday afternoon but there's writing workshops and talks throughout on a lot of subjects.

Just back from Turkey and it was great. We visited various ancient ruins (Ephesus, Priene, couple of others) ate lots of kebabs and generally had an excellent break. During the quite evenings watching the sun going down (it's a hard life) the subject of the next book came up. With DK almost on the shelves and TDG draft done I am now unemployed-ish.

What to do?

You spend half an evening thinking about some brilliant hero then stop and realise he's just like Harry/Alex/Artemis/whoever and the plot's a rip-off of this or that. Bloody hell, this is harder than I thought. The trouble is Billi SanGreal was a LONG time in developing. Years, in fact. I could more easily just write stories about her and the Templars (hope I'll have a chance, there's a few more tales in Ms. SanGreal yet), but the deal was just for two.

Stay in genre or branch out? To what? Full fanatasy with dragons and elves and wizards? sci-fi? Spy stories? Change age groups? While I contemplate I've decided to re-read the Iliad (I've decided it doesn't count as one of my text reads this year so have Dickens beside it). I've talked enough about it so won't dwell on it anymore.

I have something in (very early) development, and the moment I'm able to tell you about it I will. Needless to say it'll be violent...


Holler said...

Hope you find some inspiration soon! It must be difficult and even more so to follow up such a good first book! I am just piling on the pressure here, aren't I LOL? I think you should add a funny, quirky character. Because you mentioned Artemis, I immediately thought of Mulch. He does make me laugh! Have you thought of writing for a slightly younger age group?

Gareth said...

Welcome back from your hols, Sarwat.

Firstly - I've just sent my big kids back to Hampshire so I can finally get the Devil's Kiss back from them to finish(they really liked it!) - email you with feedback v. soon.

Secondly I think it is really tough moving on from not just some favourite characters but also a world/situation/conflict and magic/supernatural power system etc. I haven't even comtemplated what could be beyond my current series.

Would you be interested in setting something in the same milieu... a goodie trapped in the Red Knights or something or do you want a complete change?

Of course, when TDK takes off you may be coerced into sticking with the fab Billie for another couple anyway.

Still, for now the world is your oyster... just don't clam up for too long (I'm such a wit).

SarwatC said...

I've bought three mid-grade books to read this week. First is The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Roman Mysteries series by Caroline Lawrence. I love historical fiction, and like the idea of a number of main characters, rather than just one.
There's a Percy Jackson to follow and we'll see after that.

Jon M said...

Bless my soul Sarwat, the Crystal Palace thing is on London Marathon Weekend! I'll bob along if I may (probably on the Saturday cos I'll be all sweaty and puffed out on the Sunday!).

The what to do next bit is the teaser but you just have to write the next story out and hope it's not Toad of Toad Hall!

Sue Hyams said...

I've come to the Crystal Palace thing and bring family and friends! Let me know the date and time.

Tracy said...

I'm sure you'll be fine on the inspiration front. Guess it's just weird after living and breathing Billi's story for so long.
I've read some Caroline Lawrence - they're a fun read.
Glad you had a great holiday.
Wish I could pop along to Crystal Palace but doubt I'll be able to.

That review I told you about - it's inspired someone to read your book. Do I get a commission? ;)

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Isn't Turkey just great! And such yummy food!

Devil's Kiss arrived today - whoohoo!and huge thanks! I am so looking forward to getting stuck into it - just glancing at the first couple of pages tells me that this is a terrific book.

Looking forward too to hearing what plot you will hatch next... Exciting stuff! Here's to the muse whispering wonderful ideas at you.

SarwatC said...

Comission? These exotic holidays don't pay for themselves you know.
Would be great to see any of you at the festival. I'm on around 3.20pm Sat 25th April for a reading and stuff. Might be doing a small workshop, not sure. Details closer to the time.

Liz said...

Hi Sarwat

I'm hearing lots of murmurring about TDK from a few booksellers I just MIGHT be onto something here!

I will be popping along to the Crystal Palace event too - am keen to meet you and Alexander Gordon Smith. And may be reporting for the local newspaper too - that has not yet been determined!

I hope you like Percy Jackson - good action adventure and quite a bit tongue in cheek.