My third book, The Dead Ground, came out on 10 April this year. Just two years ago I was excitedly waiting for my first, The Fall, to come out. I waited to see it on a shelf, thinking this would be the moment I’d dreamed of all my life. And you know what, it was pretty good. But time spools on and it’s 2014 and here’s my third – in the years between a lot of ink has been spilled, a lot of ideas germinated, and a lot of wine has been drunk. That’s not integral to the process, probably, but why risk finding out, is what I say.
This year I’ve been doing various promotional events and interviews. I took part in a live-writing event at Drink Shop Do in London (a great place I will be going back to…they have a ‘build your own lego robot’ night), which was really fun but showed me that novelists basically can’t write in teams. I had a launch in Belfast at No Alibis bookshop. I’ve done interviews in the Irish News (left), Irish Examiner, and Newry Democrat. I called into some bookshops in Dublin to sign stock and met up with Vanessa from writing.ie, and we spent a long time discussing our weird writing fetishes and why I need a certain type of pen and notebook. Next week there will be a launch party in London too.
The Dead Ground is the first time I’ve written a sequel, so in some ways it was much easier – I knew what had to happen to all my recurring cast. But it was also hard to remember what I’d said about things (what is the unit actually called? What colour are people’s eyes? How old is everyone?) and to make sure I wasn’t duplicating scenes from The Lost. You get to find out what Paula’s going to do about the cliffhanger at the end of the Lost, and a bit more about her missing mother, and there are developments for everyone else you met in the first book.
I’ve now almost finished the next-next one, Paula Book 3. It doesn’t have a title yet but it’s there. It will be set about five months after The Dead Ground and will pick up all the ongoing story strands from there in a story about terrorism, revenge, and grief. See you next year?
The next next book! What’s it called? Um, I don’t know. In the meantime you can get The Dead Ground here or from all good bookshops (if you can’t, it’s clearly not a good one…)