Works in Progress


I’m around 8000 words into Project Bayonet. The die above will feature prominently in the novel… or maybe this will instead:

I haven’t decided yet…

Anyway, some time ago, and outlined here, I was toying with the idea of writing two novels concurrently (the other one was called Project Wishbone). And I did, for a while. But then I was approached by a producer of video games at a prominent company in Los Angeles about the possibility of being involved in the development of a major new game. Lucky accident: they had read a book of mine that chimed with the kind of world they wanted to create for their game. I’ll post a separate piece about those experiences further down the line. Suffice to say, my ongoing work for them has meant that something had to give, so I’ve put Wishbone on ice.

However, although Bayonet will continue, I’ve also had an idea for a child’s book, to be known as – for the time being – Project Factory. It’s not quite YA, but it’s certainly not a toddler’s book either. I suppose I’m aiming for the Dahlings. I completed chapter three today (and a good chunk of chapter four) and last night I read the first chapter to my two eldest boys who gave it a favourable response, despite my assuring them that I’d be grateful for any tough feedback. I wondered if there were any words they didn’t understand.

‘But that’s okay,’ Ripley said. ‘I think it’s important to have some wow words in there. If they’re too complicated, the mummy or daddy can explain them.’

The challenge is to read them a new chapter every night. I’m ahead, but only slightly. No pressure, then.

The novel I need to write for my LA bosses doesn’t need to be commenced until August, so I’ve got a good three months to try to get as much done on these two books as possible before I have to rest at least one. I had intended to lay off the short stories for a year, but I’ve already agreed to write two. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in


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