Today I finished the final draft of the second book in my new trilogy and sent the final manuscript to my agent. It’s an exciting and worrying time. Exciting because the job is done, the baby is out in the world, looking for a home. Worrying for the same reasons! So that’s books 1 and 2 finished and with my agent and I’m really happy with them both. While a part of me panics constantly that I’m a hack and my work is rubbish, another part of me looks at the finished results of these two books and thinks, “You know, Al, you done good, son.” Thus is ever the dichotomy of the creative state of mind. At least, you hope it is. Otherwise it’s all the first part and none of the second and that sucks.But I am genuinely pleased with these books. I think they’re great and I hope other people do too.

Now I return my attention to book 3.

The third book is finished in first draft, but first drafts are ugly fuckers, all tatty and rough-looking, with strange holes in the plot and annoying loose ends hanging off here and there. But, with any luck, they’re rough diamonds and a good bit of work and polish can make them shine. That’s where I go now. I might give myself the afternoon off first. I mean, I am a fucking professional, as I’m keen to tell people at every opportunity. I’m keen to tell them because it’s a way of reminding myself. Live the life you want to lead, work your arse off and make it happen. But you have to enjoy the small successes along the way too, and this is one of those.

With a baby due in about 8 or 9 weeks, I’m more conscious of time and deadlines than ever, but I think I can spare a few hours off. I’ll play a bit of Tomb Raider, maybe. Then I tuck back into book 3, make use of all the notes I’d written along the way, look for those holes and loose ends to fill and tie up, polish up the prose and flesh out the description and characters here and there where I rushed in the first draft to get ideas down. With any luck, I can get a decent draft of book 3 out to beta readers before my kid is born. Because I’m under no illusions about how that little event is going to skullfuck my time for an unknown period.

So two books done – Yay! One to polish up. For now. Who knows, there could be many more in this series if it’s successful. But, for now, a little rest.