|(Photo credit: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center)|
But if I tell the truth, I'm sort of marking time. It needs to go off for editing now, but I'm still waiting for one agent's feedback before I give up - again - on 'traditional' publishing. I'm reconciled to the fact that Middle Eastern spy thrillers are not going to sell to a UK publisher.
Which begs the question, what to write next? It's probably not going to be a Middle East spy thriller, given events so far. It's been great that loads of people have enjoyed Olives and Beirut, but 'loads' is relative and it hasn't added up to more than break-even with the project so far - and certainly isn't going to pay to have Shemlan printed. I'm still down a few thousand dollars on the deal. In fact, the only people who've made money so far have been the editors, printers and distributors.
Which makes one of us pretty dumb. And there are no prizes for guessing who's wearing donkey ears around here.
So what to write next? I know I will write a new book - it's already killing me that I haven't started. I've got a number of projects jostling for attention. A retired IRA bomber who's blackmailed out of his rest by modern day terrorists. A psychological thriller based around a damaged woman with amnesia, a whistleblower and a battlefield drug trial that's gone horribly wrong. And, oddly, an allegorical comedy based around a logical man's battle with authority are among the candidates that are banging around in my head like dodgems in a power surge.
The result of which is I'm stuck. I literally don't know what to do next. I've never had writers' block, but now I've got something worse - book block.
The answer might be to start on a romantic comedy or a vampire fantasy or something more 'commercial'. Trouble is, of course, neither I nor the publishing industry really knows what's 'commercial'...
In the meantime, I guess I'll just carry on tinkering.