So many projects do you have on the go at the moment?
I’m currently working on the fourth book in the Mrs Hudson and Mary Watson series, but this is very much ahead of schedule. Also, though I try to settle down and write it properly, I seem to still at research/imagining/writing key scenes stage.
But I also find myself working on at least four other projects. There’re all historical crime books, but all with different characters, and importantly, all set in different times. I find myself drawn to researching them, and writing down their characters, and their scenes, and a few basic plot points.
I think this is important. I used to think it was a distraction, but I changed my mind. You see, there’s no point in forcing a book, but I do need to write every day. If I don’t actually have a deadline to meet, I think working a week on one book, a week on another can be helpful. It keeps me fresh. It keeps me interested. It means I can find a place for any little fact or overheard conversation or feeling that I think needs to be put into a book, instead of rejecting it because it doesn’t fit into my current work. With five different sets of stories, there’s a place for everything to be used. There’s no waste. And there is cross pollination. Ideas triggered by one story will be used in another.
So multiple projects – yes. I think they’re a good idea. They help. But when the deadline starts to approach, then it’s time to concentrate on the story that needs to be written. Until then, I’m happy to flit like a butterfly from story to story.