Yes, yes, not been posting much recently, but busy with the book, don'tcherknow. Or books, to be precise. Book 5 (The Scarab Path), which has been running a bit late, has finally been packed off, and I won't see it again until it's actually in print (release date start August). Book 6 (The Sea Watch) has come back from Peter Lavery's elegant edits (1), been amended as best fit, and returned (although I am threatened with proofs any day now), and book 7 (The Working Title) has winged its insecty little way to Simon, my agent, for his first comments, having (after repeated disembowelling) finally reached a draft stage that I'm even halfway happy with. As the series has expanded, I've run into some unexpected structural issues, most of which seem to have come to a head in book 7 — specifically balancing tying off old threads and foreshadowing new ones — book 7 is another section end as Salute The Dark was, and so there's a lot of that, and the art is making sure that the stuff you need to have in for the series and the stuff you need to have in for that book don't either get in each other's way, or stay too far distant from one another.

Speaking of The Scarab Path, yes, out in August. I will admit to being nervous — Salute the Dark finished the first internal division of the series plot (2), and Scarab has new ground to cover, and so there's an ambiguity about reception and take-up that the previous books didn't necessarily have. Also, despite having seen so much of it recently, I really do like Scarab, and it feels a very personal effort. There is a great deal of character work I'm very happy with, and also a lot of revelation about the world, the Art, Aptitude and some very key ancient history. Crossed fingers for August. There will be signings, by the way, although arrangements are still being made. On the 14th August at 2.00pm I will be at the Travelling Man in Leeds for a signing and perhaps a reading or some such. I'm likely to be down south for a signing a fortnight later, 28th August, possibly in Oxford, but no firm details yet. Apparently there may be all sorts of shenanigans in September as well.

However none of that qualifies for the New Age monicker (3). Tonight, this very night, I put pen to paper on what should be book 8 in the series and rattled off the first few pages (4).

Also tonight on Channel 4 was a program entitled The Untold Battle of Britain about the Polish pilots who fought for Britain during the war.

Book 8's working title is The Air War.

Odd how things work out.

(1) And Mr L has surpassed himself with his notes on Sea Watch. There were an awful lot of moments where he was able to catch exactly what I was trying to say, in a way that I myself hadn't really appreciated, and set it out plainly and simply for me to follow. I am extremely blessed in having his assistance.

(2) Like all good insects, it's divided into three.

(3) and this is nothing to do with the Age of Aquarius either.

(4) which may not be the first few pages if I end up having to restructure as much as I did with book 7.

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