Those of you who’ve been following my Mutterings in recent months will have a good idea of why a book takes such a lllooooonng time from first draft to hardback on the shelf—but even my editor had to admit that it felt early to be talking about the NEXT Russell after Lantern’s Dance. But no, it isn’t that early. And so yes, we did talk.
Not that normal people like you will be anything but frustrated to think about a book you won’t see until 2025, and not that there’s much to say about it, but if I’m to write a book whose first draft is due in 4-5 months, even a non-outliner like me sort of needs to know what’s going on, in general terms.
And, it turns out, so does the Penguin Random House sales department.
So for them, and for you, here’s a vague idea.
It’s going to be about Uncle Jake.
Remember Uncle Jake? There’s one story about him and the throwing knife he gives a very young Mary Russell, called “Mary’s Christmas.” It’s the first story in the Mary Russell’s War collection (Holmes’ Christmas story, “Stately Holmes,” ends the book) and I’ve long wanted to do something else with Russell’s black sheep uncle.
Now I get to.
And, if you need to jog your memory (or maybe haven’t read it in the first place) you’re in luck because for this month only, I’m giving away an illustrated edition of the story as a free download, here. Enjoy!