It feels a little strange blogging when no one knows that the Blog is here! It's like if a tree falls in a forest etc etc.
I think the best way to go is to blog once a week and to try to do it the same day each time. That way readers don't have to keep visiting to see if the Blog has been updated. So I reckon that Sunday is the best day as most people are at home. So Sunday it is, from now on, unless there's something I really want to say. Having said that, depending on where in the world I am, it might show up as a Saturday or Sunday posting because I think the Blog is set to US time!
At the moment I'm revamping my website, http://www.stephenleather.com/. I revamp it three times a year, pretty much. In January I redo it to take account of the new book, which is usually published in January or February. I talk about the new book and what I'm working on. This time I'll mention the Blog and put up a link to it, and I'll put up a new a page about how I go about writing a book.
By the time it's June I usually have the new book finished so I put up the first chapter on the website, and usually by then I'm able to show the cover. Yes, we have the cover designed before I've finished writing the book!
The mass market paperback comes out in September so I revamp the website then to publicise the paperback and redo the various purchasing links.
By November I've usually started writing the new Spider Shepherd book, but this year I'm a bit slow off the mark. I think I want to write about police corruption and police vigilantes, but other than that I don't have a plot yet. I do have a title, though. BIG BOYS. My nine-year-old daughter likes it, so I think I'll stick with it. I am trying to write the Dan Shepherd books in pairs - HARD LANDING and SOFT TARGET, HOT BLOOD and COLD KILL, DEAD MEN and LIVE FIRE. So after BIG BOYS we'll have SMALL something or LITTLE something!
I've been watching the hostage hotel situation in Mumbai and thinking about incorporating a simlar scenario into the next book. Home grown terrorists in the UK will obviously have been watching what was happening in Mumbai and I'm sure that a few will have wondered about the possibility of storming a top London hotel full of rich tourists and holding them at gunpoint. Guns are ridiculously easy to get in the UK and it's a lot easier to get into a Conrad or Marriott hotel than it is onto a Boeing 747. I can't help thinking it won't be long before we see a hotel seige situation in the UK. That's one of the problems with writing thrillers, of course - if I do start writing it now as fiction it might well have happened by the time the book is on the shelves!
My next three books will all be Spider Shepherd stories. I've just signed a three-book contract with Hodder and Stoughton and it says in the contract that they all have to feature Shepherd! But I am working on a story about a police negotiator that I really like, I will probably put the first chapter on this Blog in a week or two to see what reaction it gets...