With the exception of 2017 – when Alex was doing his A-levels and the First Serious Girlfriend was on the scene – we’ve done a walk, followed by my book about the walk, every year since 2016.
This year we’d planned to go to Italy and walk the Via degli Dei from Bologna to Florence. Like so many ‘best laid plans’ made in early 2020, it fell victim to Coronavirus.
At the time of writing – May 2020 – it seems unlikely that we’ll do a walk this year. But we’ll certainly be lacing up our boots again next year. Italy is still on the agenda: then again, the people, the scenery and the history of Ireland may prove irresistible. Either way, there’ll be another Father/Son book out in 2021.
What is certain is that Salt in the Wounds will be out before the end of summer. And if you’d like to read the first few chapters just click this link.
Writing your first novel is a tricky business. In some ways you’re teaching yourself to write a novel as you go along. You can read as many books on plotting as you like, but – a bit like learning any new skill – you have to find a method that works for you.
The big debate between writers is the plotters vs. pantsers debate. ‘Plotters,’ as you might guess, like to plot the whole novel before they start. ‘Pantsers’ simply start writing and fly by the seat of their pants. For Salt in the Wounds I’ve probably been a 75% plotter.
There have been times when I’ve let the characters wander off and been quite surprised by what happens, but I’m increasingly finding myself in the plotting camp.
Salt in the Wounds will be the first in a six-book series so, as soon as it’s finished, I’ll be starting work on the second one. I’m also planning to write a short novella – of around 25,000 words – before Christmas, telling the story leading up to the death of Michael Brady’s wife.