If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I’m currently completing a Victorian thriller, the sequel to my novel The Shadow of William Quest.
Writing a sequel is usually hard, particularly when the first book in a series has been generally well-received. I might not have a huge readership, but I do value the kind comments and support I’ve received re the Quest adventures. I want everyone to enjoy the new book.
The second William Quest adventure has taken a while to complete, not least because I had break off a quarter of the way through to pen Wolfshead, the second in my series The Chronicles of Robin Hood.
I also had, originally, a false start, when I put in a character with his own sub-plot, and then found that sub-plot and the main thrust of the story didn’t arc together. So I had to spend some time removing that character and all his interactions. It took a time. Nothing’s wasted though, for those thousands of words are not lost. They’re already growing in my mind into a story of their own, which will, eventually, also have Mr Quest in it.
Those of you who’ve read The Shadow of William Quest, will know we get quite a lot of back story about Quest’s origins. In fact, I used up all his back-story in that one volume.
In a way that’s been good, for in the new book Quest comes to us fully-formed, and it gives me an opportunity to explore some of the other characters in more depth.
It also gives me a chance to set my characters against a London – and the setting of this one is entirely London – that was rapidly changing.
The 1850s were an important decade, both in terms of the physical city – buildings were going and coming, and new streets built – and the morality of its inhabitants. Up until that point, some of the mores of Georgian London still prevailed. By the 1850s, the stamp of Victorianism was beginning to make its mark, for good or bad. If you read Dickens, note how the city has changed between the early and later novels. By the way, if you want to get a feel of London in the 1820s, you can do no better than read George Borrow’s autobiographical novel Lavengro.
Now I’d like to be able to tell you the title of the new Quest novel, but I still haven’t decided. Quest’s name will be there, but I’m still torn as to the rest of it. I shall make a final decision very soon, not least because it’s due out in September and is going to be available for pre-order at a cheaper price for a couple of weeks before that.
If you haven’t yet read The Shadow of William Quest, it’s out in paperback and as an Ebook on Kindle. Just click on the link below for more information or to read the readers’ reviews. If you’ve read it and enjoyed it – or any of the other books – please do leave a review if you bought it from an online seller such as Amazon. Reviews really do help get us more sales. Thank you, John.