Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back on the scene

I've been away in Turkey for a late summer holiday--hot and sunny, since you ask--but sadly that's all now in the past.  Summer holidays are great reading opportunities for me, and the best book I read was RJ Ellory's A Quiet Vendetta.  Ellory has become a crime writer of the finest class: challenging plots, beautiful prose and a superb control of voice.  Highly commended too was Sharon Penman's Here Be Dragons, which after a slow start grew into a powerful and moving political and personal drama.  I'll be reading the others in the series.  On a less exalted level, Robert Harris's Lustrum marked a welcome return to form.  The late Roman republic is well-tilled soil, but Harris finds something new in giving us Cicero's unmasking of the Catiline conspiracy.

I had hoped too to think through some questions on The Fall of the Fireduke, and although I made some progress here it was less than I had hoped.  Instead, my mind found itself perversely exploring a different novel idea entirely, the result being that I now have an almost complete novel outline in my head.  If the idea's good enough, it will keep, so this one's filed away for future use.

I probably won't get much writing done for the next couple of weeks: it's the Chichester Writing Festival this weekend, and I am presenting training courses at work--something I enjoy, but which leaves me too enervated to write.

At the weekend I will also be taking delivery of the long-awaited Kindle.  Next year's summer holiday, I hope, will not be accompanied by a bag filled entirely with books...


C. N. Nevets said...

Welcome back, Tim! Sounds like a terrific vacation. RJ Ellory is really the model to which I aspire with my own psychological suspense.

Tim Stretton said...

Ellory's a pretty good model, Nevets! His body of work is increasingly impressive.

The trouble with picking the best as your touchstone (I find the same with Jack Vance) is it can seem very hard to even approach those standards!

Frances Garrood said...

Good to have you back, Tim. I was wondering where you'd got to!

Alis said...

Here be Dragons - totally loved it! Glad you had such a nice holiday, Tim.

By the way, is the new book idea also a Mondia novel or are you breaking out?

Tim Stretton said...

Frances, it was quite nice to be away from the internet for a while! My daughter had the notebook to use Facebook but I didn't go anywhere near it!

Alis, the new idea could not be further from Mondia. Its influences, as far as I can trace them, are Len Deighton's "Bomber", CJ Sansom's "Winter in Madrid", my recent trip to Budapest, and "Apocalypse Now". By genre I'd probably categorise it as urban fantasy.