You are cordially invited to join me for the launch of the new Witches of Woodville novel BABES IN THE WOOD on Thursday 28th October (that’s this Thursday coming!) at 7pm BST (11am PST, 12 noon MDT, 2pm EDT, and 4am next day Brisbane… with apologies to the good people of Australia!).
I will be joined by the magnificently-bearded bestselling author Caimh McDonnell, and we will dig into the origins of this tale and you will discover…
Why it’s called Babes in the Wood.
Who the blazes is Otto Kopp?
The influence of PG Wodehouse, the movie Night of the Demon, the Midwich Cuckoos, and Dada art.
The secret of the Ur-Tree…
And what the dickens is an Ur-Tree?
And will Faye and Bertie ever find true happiness?
Hello, old chap. What’s that on your uniform? Why, that’s a Woodville Village. Badge. How simply spiffing. You look quite the dandy. Where can I get one of those? What’s that? One simply pre-orders “Babes in the Wood” from Coles Books for an exclusive badge and a signed bookplate by visiting Coles-Books.co.uk. Jolly good. Where to now? Oh, you have to pop off to defend this Sceptred Isle from the Nazi hordes. Actually, I was going to the pub…
Why do I love editors? Because they help me create a better book. I’ve spent the last week or so in the first round of edits for my next book Babes in the Wood, and here’s what I learned…
Hello, folks, Mark Stay here. Last time we talked, I’d just started the edits on book two of the Witches of Woodville: Babes in the Wood. Well, after a week and a bit of intense editorialising they’re done. They’re off to my… Well, I say “done”. This is probably the first round, but they’re off to my editor, Simon & Schuster, Bethan, for her to have a look at. Lessons learned? Well, um, this took longer than the first book. Now, the first book was Alpha-read and Beta-read up the wazzoo. Lots of eyes on that before it went off to any publisher. So it was in very, very good shape. This one was in good shape, too. But, uh, there is a murder mystery element to it. Which… Writing any kind of mystery like that is, is storytelling with the hood off, you know, everyone can see the working parts because you put them there on display for people to… To notice things. And if everything doesn’t quite make sense, then it really stands out in a way that other stories, you know, you can probably get away with the odd teeny weeny plot hole. So this one, most of Bethan’s notes were just little clarifications. Can you make this a bit clearer? Can you hang a lantern on this? You know, can you emphasise this a bit more? Uh, of course, during, uh, during my edit, I realised one massive plot hole was that I have a murder and never once explain how the murder was done. Only I could do that. Um, this is why you have editors, folks. So, uh, that was handy. I was able to… The thing is I’d written it down. I put it in my notebook. This is one good reason why you should have a notebook, folks, for each project that you’re doing, because I had actually written it down. I just hadn’t put it in the actual novel. Small point. But, you know, we always catch it in the end, which is good. So, yeah, really happy with it. And it gave me the opportunity to add a few extra layers, a few extra flourishes that… Particularly towards the end I wanted to ramp up the tension a little bit more. So I’m really happy with it. Really happy with it. So that’s gone off to Bethan. She’s in the middle of editing another book. So it might be a few weeks before I see it again. But until then, I’ve got a short story to edit. I’ve got a short story to finish. These are the Miss Charlotte Quartet stories. So, I’m gonna spend this weekend… Beautiful… I’m gonna spend this weekend rereading that and giving that a final polish, and getting that ready. So if you subscribe to my newsletter, you can get these stories for free. Free! Number one’s out already. I know. Good, innit? Number two is coming on the fourth of April in ebook and audio… Got to record that too. And then three and four are on their way. So that’ll keep me busy. That’ll keep me out of trouble. So yeah. If I hear any more on the edit… I’ll let you know. I’ll get back to you. In the meantime, I’m just going to pop into my local library. Happy reading. Happy writing. See you again soon.
If you’ve enjoyed reading The Crow Folk, then do please consider pre-ordering the next book in the series BABES IN THE WOOD. Here’s a quick blurb…
Fleeing the Nazi blitzkrieg, a trio of Kindertransport children come to stay with Lady Aston at Hayward Lodge in Woodville. Their arrival triggers a murder mystery involving a magic apple tree, modern art, a U-boat, and a demonic hound. Faye Bright must play nanny to the terrified children while gathering clues to uncover the dark magic that threatens to change the course of the war.
I had so much fun writing this one. There’s all kinds of gleeful and exciting stuff to be revealed, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, if you’re the kind of person who likes to pre-order nice and early and then enjoy the surprise when a book arrives in the post (I know I do!), then you can find links to most retailers at the Woodville Village Bookshop here.
I say “most”… some retailers can be slower than others when updating their catalogues, so I’ll be updating as and when.
Also, if you were one of the lovely people who ordered from Coles Books to get a signed book and art print…
… and you would like to do so again for Babes in the Wood… why not drop them a polite line and ask if they will? A little bit of positive customer feedback goes a long way these days. Oh, and I’ve had a sneak peek of Harry Goldhawk‘s “rough” of the cover art for Babes in the Wood. If you though the cover of The Crow Folk was gorgeous, then you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. More news as I get it!