A Momentous Day – the last book is finished!

London fireworks from euronews online

Well, I’ve just typed “the end” at the end of my book. The end of the series.
It felt really funny.
But I think it won’t really feel like the end till I’ve finished editing it.
I’ve missed a bit of business I was planning because it didn’t go with the flow or the narrative. Maybe I’ll find room for it in the next draft, maybe not.
Wow. The end of the series. It’s really sad.


30th April 2019, the day I finished writing the Princelings of the East series.

London fireworks from euronews online

Of course there’s plenty of work to do yet to finish them to publication standard. But I probably started writing the first book in spring 2009, so it’s taken ten years in the writing, although the first three books were all written in 2009.  The only file I have with a secure date on it is for book 3, and that was last modified in September 2009.  It makes sense, as I’d had the guinea pig Fred & George for two years then, whereas Hugo and Victor only joined me at the end of 2007, and I would have ‘met’ Dawn, my editor, in 2008. I wouldn’t have written the books imediately after that, I don’t think.


At present, both Chronicles of Marsh and Princelings Revolution are around the 45,000 word mark.  I feel that I’ve left out two pieces of business I’d been planning to include in the Revolution, so that might grow.  Then books usually lose words in the editing process.  I tend to add more description in my second drafts. I hope to get the Chronicles to my external editor by early July, though.  I must check to see if that suits her own workload.  And also ask Dani to slide the cover into her workload – she’s very busy with commissions these days, which is great.


One thing I like about the last book, is that, while it of course focuses on Fred and George, all the other guinea pigs I’ve had get at least a mention; Victor, Hugo (who doesn’t actually appear, but is talked about a lot!), Humphrey, Hector (who’s been missed out of all the previous ones), Kevin, Colman (a mention, but they’ve been in several other books), Dylan and Dougall (also a mere name check at present, and I want to change that in the editing), Oscar and Midge (both have small roles), Percy (a lucky fixture in one of the other castles for a few books now), Bertie and Biggles, and finally Roscoe and Neville.

I’m still trying to pack in namechecks for other friends and people who’ve helped over the years. It’s fairly easy as I have lots of women friends and not many women guinea pig names!

Other favourites are there, but mostly in small roles or namechecks: Lupin, Nimrod, Baden, Mariusz (of course), Saku, Digby, Augustus, Roland.  Willoughby plays a prominent role in both books.  From bit part, to own book, to major player, he’s certainly taken the Realms by storm.


Chronicles of Marsh has a hoped-for publication date of early spring 2020, and Princelings Revolution, I’m aiming for spring 2021.  But the date 6th May 2021 is significant in the final book.  I don’t think I’ll wait for that, I think I’ll try to get it published sooner.

Meanwhile, we have a significant date coming up next week when George Guinea Pig World, (the blog run by the guinea pigs themselves) celebrates ten years.  I think I’m writing the anniversary post on Tuesday 7th May.

Sign up to the newsletter for occasion news of the books and special offers on the back catalogue!

I know I keep saying it but…

Fire in the hay wagon

I know I keep saying that I’m writing books 9 and 10.  I really am.  It’s just that I haven’t actually typed any words for a few months.


I do keep picking up more ideas because, around the ultimate issue of George building a flying machine that will take Vex to Hattan and bring back Wozna Cola (come on, that was the end of book 1, keep up, won’t you?), there is the whole reason for that not being straightforward.  Revolution!


Fire in the hay wagonWhen I originally thought of this, all was reasonably sane in our world.  Mr Obama was running the USA in a fair and reasonable manner that gave the rest of the world hope that he wouldn’t destroy it.  The world, that is.  The UK was being run by a coalition that, even though it was mad, self-serving and overturning everything we’d done to make the country a fairer and more democratic place, turned into a single-party, self-servative con-trick.

And with all the turmoil that had been going on for the past two and a half years, frankly, anything I could write would be tame by comparison.

More ideas

I’ve finally got to the stage where I can understand where I’m coming from in the Princelings world again.  I read a great book involving rebellion (Rebel in the Sands) which I’m reviewing early in February on my blog. It gave me great food for thought over exactly who and how my rebellion might unfold.

In a chat to my brother he moaned yet again about our current trouble being the UK does not have written constitution, so people make up ‘rules’ to suit themselves.  He also reminded me that one of the Spanish regions had elected women to all its key posts, which resulted in the leader saying, ‘this is bad, we should have a man in at least one of them’ and finding the rule which said that was a right and proper way to go about things.

My first thought was – I knew the women of the Lost City of Arbor had a role in this I hadn’t developed yet!

So, with the second book of my science fiction series finally out, I can get back to writing the last two Princelings books.  They are both works in progress 🙂

Join my Mailing List!

You may have noticed I now have a newsletter mailing list.  This is different from the sign-up to get notifications by email.  That lets you know this post has been published.

The newsletter will be an occasional message to you, giving you some snippets I haven’t otherwise let slip.  Advance information; special offers to subscribers only, that sort of thing.  Why not add yourself to the mailing list today?


Update on the last two books

clock tower of a castle at 2 am

You deserve an update on the last two books, since it’s been four months since I last posted.

In that time I’ve mainly been working on my other series, and on other things entirely.  That’s my excuse, anyway.

Finishing a series is hard

I read the first two volumes of a book recently, and hunted for the third of what was indicated as a trilogy.  I couldn’t find it. There was no evidence the author was writing anything else.  It’s possible he had an accident of some sort, but for reason I’ll tell you on my blog in a week or so, I think he’s suffering from the ‘finishing the series’ syndrome.

What I’ve discovered, is that however much I’ve been thinking about that last book—and I started writing it when I thought it was going to be number six—it is really painful to get going on it. Writing the last book of your darling characters is hard, especially when you’re going to put them through pain and torment.

I remember JK Rowling saying they had to lock her in a hotel room to get her to finish the last Harry Potter.  I start to understand what she meant.  All those plans, all the loose ends, all the final expositions, all have to come together in a way that your readers love – or hate, but come on the journey with your hero(s) to the bitter end, in hope it’ll all turn out well in the end.


The other day I got the start of the plan for the final book.

Now I have to write it down.

And then, maybe, I’ll be able to make further progress on book 9.

I think, as I have thought before, that I might even have to write book 10 to make sure that everything needed in book 9 goes in it.

Then again, it might just be one glorious book 9 to finish the series, and some novellas to fill in some gaps in it.

I don’t expect to be doing much actual writing, as opposed to planning, before the new year, though.

Watch this space 🙂


Princelings Book 9 is now underway!

original cover concepts

I’ve started writing book 9 in the Princelings series, the Chronicles of Marsh.

My Camp Nanowrimo project this year was to finish editing one of my other books.  Since I did that, and I was only two-thirds of the way through camp, I reckoned I should get going on the Princelings saga again.

I’ve only written two chapters so far, and that’s a cheat, because the second was already written. Fred is telling Willoughby how to write the history of Castle Marsh, so we have a linking story of things going on in the present, plus a catch-up on how we got to this point.

original cover conceptsAt some stage I will run out of pre-written tales, and will write new ones to fill in the gaps between the last one and the start of the final book, gaps that cover the time of books 7 & 8 that haven’t yet been aired here or on my blog. And when the underlying story now ends, we’ll be all ready to start book 10.

That’s the plan, anyway.

I haven’t got anything approaching a cover idea yet, but I thought you’d like to see Dani’s original concept sketches for the second edition covers. They’re just scribbles, and she’ll hate me for showing them, but I like them anyway!