Here I am, this week, in the strange no-man’s-land between the completion of one book, and giving serious attention to its sequel. The completed book is still being edited, of course, and the story is still very much on my mind.

This particular book has been written in ‘real-time’: the story begins in September, which is when I began writing; it finishes in February, and so did I.

The seasons have changed as I was working, and I let those seasonal changes creep into the story. It’s a very natural and organic way to write. I used the things I saw on my twice-weekly visits to the café on the beach, too. The turnstones picking their way among the shingle named a boat in the story – the Turnstone of Sheppey; the stone fish carved into the wall of the Chesil Beach Centre named an inn – the Fish in the Wall; the very skylarks singing over the Causeway as I walked found their way into the tale. When the real skylarks sang above my head, they sang in the story, too. Natural and organic, as I said.

The real-time writing has been an adventure in itself in many ways, and made me feel a special sympathy for the characters when they suffered in the cold easterly winds. They and I have weathered the winter together, and all lived to tell the tale.

The result is Whales and Strange Stars, a very special book for me, and I’m very proud of it.


The Larus series are now all available in paperback. For full details of all my books, see my Amazon page: