Just like my reading, my writing has been limited because of the COVID situation and my work as a surgical intensivist. When I’m not working, I’m often to physically or emotionally fatigued to do much writing. That said, I am about 16K words into Silver Magic, the next book in my Magic Law series. Each is book a complete story, no cliff hanger endings, but they do definitely build on one another so reading them in order is nice but not absolutely necessary. In this latest installment, Simon Buckley has been newly promoted to Lieutenant and now has three Magic Enforcement teams under his command. The city of Cymbeline has exploded into rioting down in the Hollows, the Orc dominated slums on the south side. Under the cover of the riots, someone has used illegal magic to kill an Elf journalist and leave her body in a riot torn section of the Hollows. The case attracts a lot of political attention as she happens to be the estranged daughter of the current mayor. So far, I have some clear ideas about the solution, but as always when one writes by the seat of one’s pants, there are sure to be twists and surprises that even I don’t see coming.
I’m also still plugging away now and then on my historical novel set in England during the American Civil war. It’s a fictionalized version of a true story, that of the Confederate commerce raider, CSS Alabama, and the spy networks on both sides that operated in London and Liverpool during 1861 and 1862. Everything that went on in Berlin between the Soviets and the Americans during the Cold War was happening between the Confederacy and the Union during the Civil War. All kinds of spycraft from cutouts to dead drops to honey traps to secret rendezvous and double agents were practiced by spy networks operated by James Bulloch on the Confederate side and Thomas Dudley on the Union. The Confederates may even have had an agent in the American Embassy in London. I believe I know who that agent was but can’t document any proof. So, I will do what any good writer would do with a fascinating story. I’ll turn it into a novel. This has been hard for me because I have to adhere to the historical record while still creating strong characters (or at least writing the historical people as interesting characters). Plus as a seat of the pants writer, it’s been hard to adhere to a de facto outline as set down in real history. I also have a tendency to go down research rabbit holes in pursuit of authenticity. I know more about women’s fashions in the 1860’s than any man should ever know.
I also have a few shorter projects in the works – short stories that may or may not see the light of day. I think of myself as a novelist, although I do find some stories are better left in the short form rather than stretching them to the breaking point.