With Claudius almost at the proofreading stage my thoughts are fixed firmly on the next book, or more correctly on the fact that I should be half way through it by now. We're in that limbo period where nothing is guaranteed and where a lot depends on the early sales of the paperback.
I know what the next book is - the final chapter of the Rufus story - and I know exactly how it ends (famous last words), but, like Claudius, I also know I need to take it on to the next level. This is the one where the strength of Rufus as a character had to really kick in. He has to carry the book right to the last page. I've got lots of good set pieces and the historical context is very strong, but I still have to do some in depth research on a couple of interesting characters in Rome.
I also have lots of ideas for the future, but it's a fair old way from idea to book, so we'll see.
Last year I wondered why I wasn't being invited to book festivals. This year I'm wondering how I'll fit everything in. I have a reading and signing next week at Waterstones in Stirling, I'm making a guest appearance at an event in Jedburgh in May, taking part in the Borders Book Festival in June, have two events for the launch of Claudius in July, then festivals in Stirling and Inverness later in the year. There's also been interest from Wigtown, the festival I visited last October. Suddenly I have to get my act together, except I haven't got one yet!