Monday, 6 October 2014

Pressing Submit...

I meant to post this last week – but the ‘Curse of Book 2’ struck again (a subject I’ll return to at a future date) and I was taken away from my desk. Today – the 6th – is nine months to the day since my last blog and seemed an appropriate occasion to reappear.

The big news is that I’ve finally finished The Madagaskar Plan and sent it to my publishers in the UK and US! Thus far not a soul has read the book apart from a few sections I offered to my editors to prove I was actually working on something. So pressing submit is a leap into the unknown.

Now begins the waiting. Quite what my publishers will make of the book I’m not sure. I’m confident it’s good – a huge leap up from Afrika Reich – but it’s also very different in terms of tone, structure, pacing – everything! – to the original. It may not be what they were expecting. The one thing for certain is that it’s a monster. I was contracted to write 115-120 000 words, the same as the first book; the finished manuscript is 154 000 (and it’s tightly written).

While I wait for a response there’s plenty to do: I have maps to draw (see photo below); final bits of research to complete; a historical note and foreword to write. I might even do some more blogging.

In the meantime, there’s still no publication date for Madagaskar, but the latest is a summer 2015 release... though I’m not sure it will make a comforting holiday read. More details as and when I have them.

Monday, 6 January 2014


I love this cartoon from the New Yorker. In fact I find it so apt I had it framed and put on the wall of my office just above my monitor.

These are deadline days! 

For that reason I’m taking a break from this blog so I can concentrate on finishing The Madagaskar Plan.

I’ll be back in the (late) spring, hopefully with the book submitted, and some new entries about the research trips I made for Book 2. These have taken me to three continents – from huge, remote dams in the United States, to a decaying Nazi hotel complex in Germany, synagogues and a ferris wheel in Vienna, and of course south of the equator to Madagascar itself.

In the meantime I hope everyone has a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year...