While waiting for the results of my latest efforts to try to get signed with an agent, I decided not to waste time lingering and re-started work on the sequel.  One thing I found straight away was that I had kind of "lost my thread" and needed to get back into the story in order to continue it, so I decided to perform a line by line edit on the 20,000 words I'd already written in order to refresh my memory and make sure I didnt forget any important minor details.

Reaching the end of the process and having learned from my previous editing, I've already chopped the wordcount by 1000.  I'm sure I'll trim it a lot more by the time I reach the final draft.  I'm quite pleased with what I've done so far and am back to writing new material from page 71. 

Apart from not wanting to stay idle (and if I'm honest, feeling compelled to continue writing the story,) everything I've read suggests that it's a good idea to get your second book well under way before you sell the first one and to get it broadly finished before your first book comes out.  This is for a number of reasons.  Firstly, if you get a book deal, it's often for more than one book and the last thing I want is to be expected to produce a second book and not be ready by whatever deadline I'm set (given I write around the demands of family life and a full time job).  Secondly, kids reading a book don't want to wait ages to read the second in a sequel.  They'll lose interest or be too old if it takes too long.  Thirdly, people are often influenced by feedback or criticism of their first book (even if it's a big success) and this can create writer's block making the second novel "difficult". Finally, I want to stay immersed in Pandora's world with my writing until the tale is told.  If I leave too long a gap, my magpie like brain will be drawn to some other shiny thing of an idea and I'll get distracted.
I think because I've already introduced the world Pandora inhabits in the Chronomancer's Daughter, I can now build on it incrementally as I go on, getting straight into the meat of the story in book 2.  The action starts in chapter one and hopefully it will continue as the book progresses, new characters are introduced, new problems and enemies are encountered and new information is revealed to Pan and her friends.  At about 20,000 words (before edit), I'm probably about 25% of the way through the Iron Golem now.  The trick is to get everything I want into the book in the next 60,000 words. 

Recently, lots of people have been making very supportive comments. One person even dreamed she'd seen the colour and texture of my book cover and described it to me, something that had me daydreaming for some time, whole another said she intends The Chronomancer's Daughter to be the first book her daughter can read unaided.  I can only thank them both for their encouragement and hope that both dreams come true. Watch this space.