Thursday, August 28, 2014

More Sean Duffy?

It's been over a year since I wrote a Sean Duffy novel and in the intervening time I've mostly been goofing off. I've tried to write a couple of things here and there but they've gone nowhere. A while ago I had an idea for a 4th Sean Duffy novel but initially I was reluctant to write it as I really dug the way the third book ended. Come on McKinty if you write another book in this series there's no way you'll ever get an ending that pleases you as much again - you'll bloody ruin it, you fool! I thought. And if you look at my bibliography you'll see that I'm not a big fan of series anyway. Trilogies I dig, standalones I dig, but 3+ books? Not my thing. I was completely torn: I had a cool idea for a book but I loved the way book 3 concluded Sean Duffy's adventures. So I took the safest way out and did nothing. 
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Months went by and then one night I dreamed the ending of book 4. When I woke up I wrote it out and printed it and put it in a drawer. I left the pages in the drawer for a week, reread it, realised that final scene needed an epilogue, wrote the epilogue and put that away for a week. And then I read the complete ending of book 4 (final chapter plus epilogue) and I liked it. I really liked it. It was - in my mind - as good as the ending of book #3. I still didn't have the book yet but I had an ending and an idea for what happened in the middle. And I had a title Gun Street Girl (another Tom Waits song). I pitched the book to my publishers and they suggested that I start writing it and for want of something better to do I did.
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I'm not going to say anything about the plot here because I'm still working on the book and things could change. (ST have produced a cool preliminary cover which incorporates one of the ideas from that final chapter dream) but its not done yet. However I am happy with the book so far and it definitely doesn't ruin the mythology of the trilogy. It does however ruin the nice alliterative "Troubles Trilogy" which is how they pitched the series in the US and I can't think of any words relating to Ulster or Northern Ireland that begin with Q for quartet. (My buddy John McFetridge is publishing a great series of detective novels set in 1970's Montreal and when he's got 4 of those it'll be easy: The Quebec Quartet.) Maybe I should just do what Douglas Adams did when he published Mostly Harmless - the tagline of that book was "The fifth book in his increasingly inaccurately named Hitch-hiker Trilogy."