The next volume of The Glastonbury Chronicles, "The Coin of the Realm", will be out May 1, and the second instalment of Tales of the Dearg-Sidhe "The Great Queen's Hound" (sequel to "Son of Air and Darkness") will be out June 21. Earlier today I finished Volume III in that series, "The Pale Mare's Fosterling", which is slated to appear June 21, 2012, filling the schedule of three books per year through the end of October 2012.
The post-partum depression is beginning to set in, as it does with the finish of each book. I have been writing at a frantic pace, five novels in under 14 months comprising two series. Not to be awakened in the middle of the night by one or more of my characters demanding to be heard is going to seem odd for the next couple of days, but I know it won't last much longer than that.
There will be at least three more Dubhghall books...probably six. I just need to get back to Britain and France for a refresher course on the lay of the land, the smell of the air, the colours of the clouds and the topography and practical geography that cannot be learned by reading two-dimensional maps and trying to figure out how far a horse can ride in a single day or night in the rain or sunny weather or whatever else the conditions might be. There is no substitute for real research, the kind that finds a writer noting the taste of the water in a certain place, the colour of the ocean in a certain season, the shade of stones in the walls of a certain castle; some of these can be invented in pure fantasy in a world which exists solely within the author's head, but when the author is creating a fantasy around historical events, that author had better be able to ground in fact.
I hope I have done my homework so far. In the events which take place in the future I have tried to base that world upon that which is known and project that which is yet to be. In the events which surround the past history or legend I sometimes feel like an ancient astronomer, seeing the bright points of stars in the sky and playing "connect the dots" with them to form patterns and pictures possibly not seen before by others and then trying to influence others to see the same shapes and picture as I do.
With all these novels in the can do I plan to take a break from writing? Not for long...a few days at the most. Spring cleaning is calling and it's time to get the house I moved into three years ago organised at least enough to be able to find some of the things I have not seen since the move, including the beginnings of a couple of novels I had started before then. There are a couple of mystery series in the works, one of which managed to get all the way into the middle of Chapter Four before Dubhghall bullied it out of the way and demanded to have his third story written down. I have told Dubhghall he may have to wait until the autumn to get his chance again, as I am trying quite hard to get back across the pond for at least a couple of weeks in October and November to block out some of his movements and look into some of the historical figures he will be tangling with next time.
What next? Whatever The Muse has in mind, I'm up for it. Meanwhile I shall grab a few hours of sleep while I can, until the 2:00 AM call to the keyboard is sounded once more and the cats start gazing up at me with that knowing look of creatures who have answered the call of the night winds and the mysteries that are whispered only when the world is still and the mind receptive...
But for now, my pillow awaits. Who knows what I'll dream up next.