Mizpah Ring, Novel, When the Boats Come Home

All Systems Go!

I’ve pressed ‘Send’ and now the manuscript of the new book is in the Inbox of Paul, my publisher at Zaccmedia.

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The sun is shining outside my study window, reminding me that there’s a world out there – a world completely different from the late 1890s that I’ve been inhabiting with my characters. It’s the start of a Bank Holiday weekend here in England but a large part of my mind is still in Canada, Buenos Aires, Scotland…

These people – Belle and her sister Hannah, and the three lads (Rab, Hughie and Geordie) – have been my constant companions, living in my heart and mind, for a while now and it’s hard to leave them. Like putting down a gripping novel you’ve been reading, not wanting the story to end…

But here’s the sweet and special joy of this project. Pressing ‘Send’ is not the end. Because this manuscript is only the beginning – Book One in a trilogy – and once I’ve refilled the larder, spring-cleaned the house, cut the grass, seen to the admin, maybe even had a day or two off, I can move into the research for Book Two. And I’m really looking forward to it!

Book One of the Mizpah Ring Trilogy is due out the first week of December. It’s called Seedtime  and follows the five young people as their lives interweave and tangle, in love and hate, devotion and betrayal. There are a couple of murders, and a couple of births – because this book is about the first generation. Book Two takes up the story with the next generation, and Book Three with the third when everything gets sorted out.

I’ve loved researching and writing it. It’s very different from When the Boats Come Home, my first novel, but I hope my readers will love this one just as much!


The third draft: Day one

So here I am, Day One of the third draft of the new novel. I planned to read it though. Not from page one to the end but in the separate sequences. My story, the Mizpah Ring Trilogy,  follows the lives of four families. Book One covers the first generation. Book Two will follow the second. And Book Three the third. Think of the families as threads, weaving and interweaving through each other’s lives and drawing other people into the mix.

So what I did last thing Friday was separate out the threads: the chapters relating to each thread in  a separate pile. And what I planned to do today was read one pile at a time.

But first, I decided to double check my timelines to make sure people were the right age at the right time and place. And discovered that I’ve raced ahead on one of my timelines so that thread is out of kilter.

This means I need to axe eleven (11) chapters.

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I’ll do that tomorrow. For now, it’s hot and definitely time for tea!