Well, here we go again.
The Children of Lir is tucked up safe and sound with Ghostwoods, in the queue for edits.
Secret Order of the Literati is out with beta readers.
So, next up I'm working on Creeper's Cottage.
You may notice, on the back of Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran, there's a glowing endorsement from a writer named David Southwell.
David's someone I've been in touch with through my publisher.
I often rave about #FolkloreThursday, which is an absolutely fantastic Twitter trend every, err, Thursday (doh!). They've even got a Folklore Thursday website up.
David's got a project called Hookland, which feeds into that.
In its own words, Hookland is:
[T]he psychogeography of a place that doesn’t exist built around the real myth circuits, Albionic shadows and actual places of a 1970s childhood. Stories told in the form of the sort of travel that used to be given away at petrol stations, a cultural artifact from when the TV news carried UFO sightings and ghosts on their nightly bulletins along with reports of IRA bombs.
It's a lost county in England where all the folklore you've ever heard of finds its home.
I'm really excited by David's project, because it's a sort of creative commons playground for artists. He's busy working on The Phoenix Guide to Strange England, which is the accompanying guidebook to Hookland, and there's already a Wirter's Bible for those participating in an upcoming anthology.
Creeper's Cottage is a story I've had rattling about in my brain since visiting The Black Country Museum last October.
Creeper, in this instance, doesn't relate to a climbing vine or a feathered fowl, but to a creeper thief, the kind that steals into your bedroom at night whilst you sleep. So, I suppose Thief's Cottage would work as well, though perhaps less... well, creepy.
It was going to be a novel in its own right, but the idea happened to coincide with learning about all of David's stuff, and it just seemed to fit together that the whole thing should be set in Hookland.
The manuscript is at a piddling 8,000 words at the moment, hardly even born. I started, then had to put it on hold whilst Secret Order took off. Now that's out of the way, I'm really excited to be returning to it. Even though it's a work of complete fantasy, the research for it is almost as heavy as historical fiction, as half of the places and characters already exist in David's world. Although Hookland is all about collaboration, it's important that the stuff I'm writing isn't directly contravening anything he's already conjured up. The beauty of any story set in Hookland is that it needs to fit seamlessly into that psychosphere.
The past few months have been great fun. I've always wanted to rewrite The Children of Lir - check. I've always wanted to take a shot at a trilogy - check. I've always wanted to try collaborating on a decent project - underway.
I'm really enjoying the creativity I'm feeling at the moment.