Well, it's almost Christmas.  A welcome break from the rat race of work and for me, a time for reflection. Christmas has often been the part of the year where I decide what I'm going to do for the next few months and wrestle with big decisions without the distractions of the working year.

The more persistent of you who have been checking the blog will notice that it's been a good long while since I updated it. There's good reason for that. At first because I felt there was nothing to tell, then afterwards because I wasn't sure what to do when there was something to tell.  In a nutshell, Pandora went back to the publisher after my major edit, as I've described previously - and while the publishers liked it, they now feel the story is 10,000 words longer than it should be (although it is the same length it was the last time I sent it the first time, this seems to be a recent trend in Middle Grade - at least for would-be debut authors.)

That left me with two options:- 

1) Edit Pandora again, doing major surgery to shorten the story or
2) Write something else.

I discussed this with my agent and with other writers whose opinions I trust and after much agonising, I decided to go for option 2.  

Why?  So many people have been asking me how I'm doing with Pan, offering me encouragement and spurring me on that I think I owe them an explanation. Firstly, I've sent out Pan and got very near to a deal with a number of publishers, but never quite there - and during that time, I've spent a long time editing, re-drafting and then waiting for feedback.  I could do more editing and send her back out, but there's always the risk that I might end up with yet another knockback - plus, I don't want publishers thinking I'm a one trick pony.  If Pandora Wolfe is all they ever see from me, then they may think that's the only story I've got (and believe me, it isn't.)  This doesn't mean that I've given up on Pan or that I don't think Pan will eventually be published, because I do.  To me, it just means she may not be first.

I've been silent these last few months because I've started writing another Middle Grade (9-12) story - this one more of a science fiction/superhero genre - think a cross between Stephen King's Firestarter and "Heroes" for kids - and I'm 2/3 of the way through the first draft already. My plan is to finish the first draft, polish it a bit (to make it semi readable) and then to send it to my ever-capable agent for his views (which will always result in me making changes - possibly major ones - up to and including scrapping it and starting again.) 

While I wait for his feedback (I'm not the only client sending him manuscripts to read and while he's fab, he's not superman.)  So while I wait, I won't be wasting my time. Instead, I'll go back and do major surgery on Pandora Wolfe. The best way I can describe that is "losing the limb to save the patient."  It'll be hard, painful and a bit demoralising, but I think I can do it and I already have a fair idea of what to do. This way I will be constantly writing and at the end of the process I'll hopefully have two books to offer instead of one.

Now a question - as the book I'm currently writing is not Pandora Wolfe, I'm thinking of creating a more generic blog (linked to this one for Pandora related updates) which I can use to update on all of my writing activities, experiences etc.

With the Christmas break, I should be able to set something up easily enough (as well as make more progress on the new book.)

What do people think?  Is this the way to go?  All suggestions welcome.