A recent post on my blog by readers wanting to know when my work-in-progress novel BLACK DOG will be completed and released has prompted me to use this blog post to provide an update on the book.
Ideally, I am aiming to have the book completed in time for a release in the spring of next year (Spring 2013). My day jobs (a mix of teaching and copywriting) have interfered somewhat with the time I had hoped to have available for writing – but there will be a big effort over the Xmas holiday period to get the manuscript finished.
It’s great to know there are readers actively awaiting a book you’re writing. That’s a boost and an impetus to any writer. (I’d like to specifically thank Brogan and Nicole for that uplifting fillip. They have also contributed a scene in a chapter I have just written. Having reported their own sighting of Shuck on my blog, I have now incorporated it into my narrative – and it makes for a great chapter!)
Everyone who asks me about BLACK DOG seems to be very interested in it – and the concept seems to be a definite hit with readers of all ages and readers of all genres. It captures the imagination – and with that degree of interest building, I now feel a weight of responsibility to ensure my writing does the concept justice! (I’ll be drafting, redrafting and perfecting before it gets released).
The novel is now sufficiently advanced for me to post a brief synopsis (…shown below in bold font) as anticipation for the release builds.
BLACK DOG is a supernatural crime thriller – effectively the modern-day progeny of Hound Of The Baskervilles. In a cheeky nod to Conan Doyle, I have called my protagonist (and detective), Frank Homes (no ‘L’!). In writing the narrative, I have used the same legend of ‘devil dogs’, ‘Hell hounds’ or ghostly black dogs that inspired Conan Doyle – but I have focused on the legend of Black Shuck from North Norfolk (which I believe I once saw – see earlier blogs on this site!) and the action in my book takes place in Shuck’s traditional stamping ground in East Anglia in the present day.
In BLACK DOG, DCI Frank Homes of the Norfolk Constabulary is investigating the murder of a local girl when he repeatedly sees visions of a giant black dog with glowing red eyes. Is the dog real? Can Frank admit to these visions without being taken off the case? Can he make the visions stop? The novel is both a traditional whodunnit with elements of police procedural and a supernatural thriller in which both Frank and the reader are left to wonder until the very end whether or not Shuck exists!
Check back on this blog for further updates as the manuscript progresses.
BTW As promised to Brogan and Nicole, I’ll also shortly blog about sightings of ghostly black dogs running across the sea – or even emerging from the sea! (This was the scene inspired by Brogan and Nicole’s own black dog sighting that now features within BLACK DOG the novel!).