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Friday 16 April 2010

Peter Cotton - Cadiz, Washington … and London

On Tuesday April 13, I signed a contract for another two Peter Cotton books with John Murray. Given that the verbal agreement dates back to January, I ignored any superstitious stuff (Martes Trece is the Spanish equivalent of Friday 13) and pressed ahead.

The two books are scheduled to be published around April 2011 and April 2012. There are some changes, most notably in length. I remember a previous post answering queries on how long my books were and saying I had been asked for seventy thousand words. The next two books will be longer - around a hundred thousand words.

I also mentioned having been asked if I was ever influenced by commercial pressures. Well, I am certainly influenced by the marketing department. In two ways. They wanted something ‘bigger’ and they thought that my original idea – of having Cotton properly start his colonial career in the next book (which would also have entailed jumping a few years) – was premature. I should stay closer to home for the moment.

This is by no means a complaint. In two days last October, I blocked out an entirely new book - one I would never have thought of but for the pressure and input I got from the publishers.

The next book, then - its working title is London Ice - takes place a year after Washington Shadow, during the very grim winter of 1946-47. It’s going well.

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