In one final burst of activity over the past few days, I’ve finished the first draft of Chionophobia. It turned out two thousand words longer than expected, and I’ve got a few earlier bits to amend, which should bring it up to 38,000. I’m glad the story pushed itself beyond what I expected, because 35,000 was uncomfortably short for a novel.
As for what prompted this sudden burst of activity, I can put that down to Adrian Andrews, who runs The League of Freemen, the official user group for the sci-fi TV series The Tripods. Adrian and I got talking about my partially written Tripods novella The Freedom Triangle (see my post dated 14 August 2005 for more on this). Derivative fiction is a copyright nightmare, but Adrian has some good contacts and seemed to think it might be possible to get permission to publish. He asked me to prioritise getting the thing into written form. I was enthused about this, but I’d put so much effort into Chionophobia that I couldn’t bear to put it on the back-burner. The only option was to get it done. Voila!
I’m estimating a release for this book around September 2006. That might seem like an unnecessarily long gap, but it’s important to put a great deal of work into the editing stage of a book’s creation.