A quick update to let you know that Book # 5 is now finished and will be published in February of 2014. It is titled 'The Beast in the Red Forest' and follows the disappearance of Inspector Pekkala at the end of Book 4 (The Red Moth). I am now hard at work on Book 6. As I have mentioned before, these days I seem to spending more time with people I have invented than with people who are real, although that is not always a bad thing. The number of foreign translations of the Pekkala series continues to grow. I believe the number is up to 23 now, with more expected very soon. I apologize to my American readers for the fact that The Red Moth did not appear in hard back, although it is readily available through Kindle (or any other e-book form) as well as Amazon.uk. Hard back printing of the series should begin again very soon in the US.
I continue to enjoy the work very much. After the initial strangeness of writing a series, as well as working under a pseudonym, wore off, I find that the effect of working so concentratedly and for such extended periods of time in one head space is of inhabiting two parallel worlds, the world of the fiction and the world in which I actually live. When I am deep down in the mines of a new book, it seems as if every conscious thought is matched by details of the world I am creating on the computer screen. By the way, I use a Getac B300. Somebody asked me about that the other day. Whenever I am sitting quietly, in meetings or on trains or taxi cabs, my mind drifts away into this alternate universe. I am constantly transcribing these details into a small, leather bound notebook made by a company called Arte e Cuoio, which I bought at the airport in Brussels years ago and have managed, through sheer luck, not to lose. Written on the leather inside of the notebook are places I have been with that notebook - everywhere from Honolulu, to Narvik to Tulum to Cardiff station.
After finishing Book 5, I tried to take some time off from writing, but I found it very difficult and quite depressing. For me, not working is much harder than working and I am very glad to be chipping away at the rock face of another book. Without that anchoring to my days, that method of escape, my brain flutters around in my head like a bird trapped in a cage.
As I write this, I am sitting in my study in New Jersey, getting ready to head up to my summer place in northern Maine. I don't know how easy it will be for me to write over the summer. The internet where I live up there is very patchy.
I'm sorry I haven't written more in this blog over the past few months. I have been so busy with finishing one book and beginning another, not to mention teaching my class at the Peddie School, which one of the great pleasures of my life, that I haven't had the inclination to sit down and write.
I am very happy with the way the latest book turned out, and I hope you will be too.