I’m writing this on a British Airways flight from Tenerife to London on my way back from our family holiday. It’s been a lovely break – I disengaged from work and did no writing – but, as July pushes on, it’s time to get back to my desk.
I’ve wanted to send Milton to Vegas for a long time. It’s perfect: a pit of temptation and vice where I could really tempt everyone’s favourite alcoholic ex-assassin. Bright Lights is the book where Milton finally ends up in Sin City, and it’s been a blast to write. It’s also taken me to some places I didn’t expect – the narrative will take you to Siena in Italy, and then to Mexico – and the process of writing delivered a twist that I didn’t see coming. As a rule, if the author doesn’t anticipate the twist, the audience won’t either… although I’m sure some of my eagle-eyed readers will pick up the subtle little clues that I’ve laid in the story during the second draft.
Bright Lights re-introduces a much-loved character from right at the start of Milton’s adventures, and, to wit, if you want to be perfectly prepared for the story I would recommend you read (or re-read) Saint Death and The Driver.
What next? I’m going to finish The House in the Woods, the first book featuring my new character, Atticus Priest. I’m in the fortunate position of being able to choose how I publish that series – either myself, as with Milton, or with a traditional publisher – but I’d expect to see that book sometime before the end of the year. I’ll then be choosing between another Milton, a follow-up to Beatrix’s adventures in Tempest, or the fifth Isabella Rose adventure. Lots to think about, lots to write and – I hope – lots for you to enjoy in the months to come.