Hello :) nz;dr Book 11 will be out next, with Strike a Match 3 soon after.
For Detectives Mitchell and Deering’s next case, I made a miscalculation with a dose of poison (by a factor of ten thousand). It turns out that, for it to be lethal, the victim would have to eat it by the shovel-full. D’oh! There were a few other issues, and it’s just a matter of writing up the final draft, but I’m going to concentrate on Surviving the Evacuation for the rest of June.
Book 11, tentatively titled ‘An Empty Country’, should be out in July or August. I’m leaving myself a bit of wiggle room as I’ve had to change most of the locations from what was originally planned.
The main part of this story is what happened to Eamonn Finnegan after he left London, and what Greta and Chester discover when they search for him. That being said, it does continue on from Book 10; the crisis described in the epilogue is a shadow that looms large over the story.
I saw this book as an opportunity to fill in a few gaps. There’s a soldier, Bran, who crops up from time to time (Jay and Tuck met him in Book 5, he helped George and Mary escape to Anglesey), and he was always meant to be a major character, but there’s never been a good opportunity to give him the page-time he deserved. Here, I thought, was a chance to tell his outbreak story, and so how he came to be in a position to help George and Mary. Unfortunately, it took up far too many words. As I say, the key part of this book is about Eamonn, Greta, and Chester. Though Bran pays an important role, large chunks of his outbreak story are interesting, but not critical to the crisis now facing humanity. Because of that, I wrote a new flashback. Rather than being when he first met George and Mary, it’s now when he was setting up safe houses with Chester, before Chester met Nilda. And as this takes place near Deeside and Wrexham rather than Somerset, I had to start from scratch.
There were other similar geographical shifts, and that’s what might cause a slight delay in release (though I’m still hopeful of getting it finished this June so out in July.)
Audiobooks - Book 8 is being recorded (there were a few changes to some of the accents), but should be sent to Audible in about a week.
And now a recommendation (actually two) but not for books. It’s a recommendation for tea!
As you might have gathered, I rather like tea, and I have a new favourite. Suki Tea, which is based in Belfast. You can find them on Amazon, or being sold in Patisserie Valerie if you’re in the UK. If you’re not in the UK, Patisserie Valerie is a chain of cream cake shops, and it’s where I first came across this particular brand of tea. It was a remarkably good brew, so good that I honestly feel like remarking on it, but that’s not why it’s now my number one tea company in the world. No, that’s because they’re trying to grow tea in Belfast!
Had I known this a year or two ago, I would have changed the Ireland storyline utterly. Forget Lisa Kempton, the entire book would have been about a noble band of horticulturalists, valiantly fighting hordes of the undead as they protected those precious green leaves. Ah, what might have been...
Anyway, I thought that a company growing tea in Belfast deserved a mention. As a matter of due diligence, I should also mention Tregothnan in Cornwall, the only other tea plantation (I know of) in the United Kingdom, and one that’s far more established. However, Cornwall was sadly destroyed during Prometheus (sorry Cornwall).
The other recommendation is for an audiobook - or rather, a BBC radio comedy/drama: John Finnemore’s Double Acts. I missed this when it was on the radio, but downloaded it on Friday when I was searching for a distraction from the election kerfuffle.
John Finnemore is one of my favourite writers, and his sitcom Cabin Pressure, one of my favourite shows. Double Acts is a series of comedic monologues, but the reason that I mention it now is that they’ve got a few episodes available for free on the BBC iPlayer:
If you’re not in the UK, you can get it from Audible - though if you’re unfamiliar with his work, I’d recommend starting with Cabin Pressure, a sitcom about a budget airline co-staring (among others) Benedict Cumberbatch.
I’ll be getting back to Book 11 now - Chester is approaching the Grand Union Canal. Will he have time to stop for a cuppa? Probably not. Poor old Chester.
Have a great week, Frank :)