(Writing one, not reading, although I’ve read a few too.)
Yes! My second cosy mystery book, A Hover of Trout, is now with Beta readers. I set myself a target of getting the first draft down by the end of April, and sure enough, on Friday 30th April, (Yep, I took it to the wire!) I finished it. As a first draft, it was pretty rough, and the way I write, the mistakes get more frequent as I near the end. I don’t know if this is because I self-edit better at the beginning or because once I’m on the home straight I write faster and more frantically to rush towards the finale. Probably a bit of both. But, what this means, is that a first draft isn’t good enough to send to Beta readers, so then I spent the long weekend doing a read-through and first edit.
In a nice twist of fate I had most of my classes cancelled over the weekend, as it’s the May holiday in China, so I had a blissful 2 classes instead of 8 over the bank holiday weekend, giving me heaps of time to focus on the book. Therefore, I spent almost the entire weekend editing – thank goodness for bad weather! – and by the end of Monday I had it not only done, but also winging its electronic way to a bevy of Betas. For those who don’t know, these are ‘first readers’, who will read to check for mistakes, inconsistencies, and continuity errors or implausible plot points. I expect they’ll find a few typos too. I’m delighted that I have a good mix of Betas. Half of them also Beta read the first cosy mystery, A Diet of Death, so will be familiar with the characters and setting and can check for continuity between the two books, and the other half are new Betas who will judge A Hover of Trout as a standalone book.
It feels weird to have finished it – A month or so ago I’d been itching to finish it because I had something else battling for attention and begging to be written, but now it is finished, and my writing schedule is free for a few weeks, I’m not sure I’m ready to move on from Jess’s world and the little village of Ballyfortnum where she lives, so I may crack on with Jess O’Malley Mystery #3 instead …
I don’t have long to think about it, as Dear Isobel is off to the editor this week, and it will only be a few weeks before I get that book, my #Debut2022 back covered in red ink and ‘Fix this’ scrawled all over it. I have to admit, I’m NOT looking forward to that.
Meanwhile, on Sunday this week (May 9th) I have to attend the livelaunch of the Kaleidoscope anthology (online; international contributers and covid, etc). You can watch the launch live on Sunday at 8pm British Summer Time (3pm EST – please convert your loacl time zones to be sure you don’t miss it!). There will be several author interviews streamed in the next week or so, and I will add details of my own once I have the link.
Kaleidoscope is now available to pre-order on most e-readers, and will be available to buy in paperback from 11th May – click here to pre-order for most e-readers; here for Amazon.uk; or here for Amazon.com).
Last week I mentioned a kitten … I also said that it needed to a) survive, and b) be a girl kitten. Well, he (almost certainly a he) is thriving. And my husband and I have convinced ourselves that maybe by having our own boy-cat around, Miso will be less haunted by the other toms of the neighbourhood. I’m not sure if my husband has visions of teaching New Kitten karate or some such usual Miso-protection technique, but it looks very much like Cute Boy Kitten will be coming to live here just as soon as he is old enough. Here’s a picture:
That’s all I’ve got for today! Have a lovely week, wherever you are in the world.