Exciting news… After one year and two months, draft 1 of novel WIP#6 is finished. This will be book 3 of my Belfast Ghosts trilogy.

Normally I crank out my first drafts pretty quickly; in around 6 months or so. For a first draft to take me 14 months means it was a lot of work – and this one sure was. I’d say this was the most research-heavy book I’ve ever written, in fact. I am thankful to a few fantastic libraries for providing the relevant books: Queen’s University Belfast and the McGrath library. Nevertheless, primary sources tended to gloss over the specifics. In a nutshell, medieval writers weren’t big on the battle specifics. I’ve groaned about this in a previous post, but I’ll say it again; as much as historical gaps are good for a writer, giving free reign to the imagination, I want there to be much more authenticity in my work, even though it is a ghost story, not historical fiction. How to accomplish this when the evidence is scant, is another matter.

Medieval research for my ghost novel – a day trip to Carrickfergus Castle

Gripes aside, I am happy to be finished. The draft is rough – very rough – and so I have jotted down notes on continuity issues to check for. But the skeleton of the story is finished, at last, and I can flesh out the parts I need to when I get back to the next draft. In the meantime I shall be taking a week off to clear my head, during which time I’ll be reading an ARC I’ve been sent, reading another book for review and reading Bindweed submissions, in addition to gearing up to outline the sequel for The Buddha’s Bone. It’s all in a day’s work.

Hmm…not exactly Gallowglass material here, though I’m doing my best

My plan is, after a week or so of head-rinsing time, I will get stuck back into re-reading the entire draft before fleshing out any relevant bits, cutting the bits that need trimmed, and checking for any continuity errors. From there, it will be onto my editor, proofreader and hopefully ready for ARCs by late summer. A vague plan, but can I stick to it? Let’s see.

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has written four novels, including award-winning ghost horror, The Blue Man, as well as three poetry collections. Her writing confronts the nature of self; her novels feature main characters on a dark psychological journey who have a crisis of identity and create a new sense of being. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing literary journal with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from publishing pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary lad, a voracious reader of sea monster books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA: https://mailchi.mp/75c5a1ad6956/leilanie-stewart-author-info

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