When I got to the end of THE TRUTH ABOUT ARCHIE AND PYE, I realised that there were more things that I wanted to do with these weird characters who had strayed into my life. So I deliberately left the ending open-ended when I initially sent it out on submission. However, one of the (few) agents who took an interest in it said that one of the things that was putting them off offering me representation was that open ending. They felt this was too ambitious.
So I immediately dropped the idea of a sequel and brought everything to a tidy conclusion. Unfortunately, there were too many other things that they didn’t like about the manuscript, so they didn’t make an offer anyway. Interestingly, I did end up fixing most of the other issues and made the manuscript a much better one as a result, so the process wasn’t a complete waste of my time.
Anyway, eventually I came across Farrago, who were of course specifically looking at series, at which point I reinstated the open-endedness (to some extent, anyway) as if it had been there all along. Since then, the overall story arc has waxed and waned, while my cast has grown, developed, expanded and – in some cases – died, and I have quite a rich choice of situations and characters to play with. (There’s a selection of characters listed here, although I think there are quite a few – especially from BAD DAY IN MINSK – who aren’t there yet.)
All of which meant that I’ve been keen to go ahead with Book Five, and I am very pleased to announce that as of today I have a contract to write both this and Book Six. I’m not entirely sure what’s going to happen in Book Six yet, but I can say that Book Five will have some unexpected and in some cases life-changing new developments for several of the main characters. Some interesting new characters will also emerge, and some old ones may re-emerge. The big question, of course, is about what is going to happen after the cataclysmic events at the end of BAD DAY IN MINSK. Or to put it another way, can Tom ever be forgiven? (I’d say more, but I’d have to put some kind of spoiler alert.)
I can’t wait to get started!
Meanwhile, I have been carrying on podcasting. I’m in the throes of preparing for the recording of Episode Sixteen, and I think it’s going pretty well. No idea what anyone else thinks, to be honest, but I’m enjoying it, so there’s that at least. I’ve also been commissioned to write a piece on the subject (oh yes), but I’ll tell you more about that when it gets published.