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f g cottam colony  Pleased with this to say the least. Can’t wait for it to come out now. I think this second novel in the trilogy does the first justice, but in the end only the readers’ verdict matters. Dark Resurrection is a plot hint as well as a title, but I’m giving nothing further away.

Actually that’s not true. I’m giving a book away, a 25, 000 word novella you’ll be able to read for free. More details soon about that chilly little offering.

 

Writing sequels is something I’ve found to be both easy and challenging – which seems contradictory, so allow me to explain. On the one hand, manipulating a cast of characters you already know (at least for the most part), is more straightforward and quicker than creating completely new characters who have to be first established and then evolve through the story.

The challenge arises with the expectations of those readers who really liked the original book. You can’t let them down by churning out something inferior to that. Deprived of the novelty value of the original, you’ve still got to surpass it in other ways, or you’re selling the reader short.

The Colony was far from flawless – which is why it’s been substantially revamped to be relaunched with the two sequels. But it’s still their favourite novel of mine among a substantial number of my readers. It’s the one (gulp), many of you recommend your friends read if they’re going to read anything at all by me.

I wrote it in Shaftesbury, in the summer of 2011 in a cottage with a thatched roof and a pretty garden to look out at, tapping away with two fingers at the laptop keyboard. I wanted a big cast of characters and a large-scale plot after writing Brodmaw Bay, which is quite insular and claustrophobic. I needed that contrast and it was great fun to write.

It’s been the most popular of my novels both digitally and as an audiobook and so I’m hopeful about the reception the sequels will get, but nervous too.

The second book has been given a new title, to tie it in with the original and because Island Life, though nicely ambiguous, in no way reflected the sinister nature of the story. It’s now entitled, The Colony: Dark Resurrection, which suits its mood and events much better. I’ll have the cover Monday or Tuesday and will post it here. Watch this space!

 

An Absence of Natural Light is a classic ghost story with a twist. From F G CottamSelf-explanatory really; the cover of my novella published by Bloomsbury Reader on December 10 and the first of four I plan thematically linked by the Jericho Society, a sinister organisation some of you with long memories might recall from my novel Dark Echo.

I thought that this secret body had the potential for further exploits, reaching its tentacles into the modern world. This story is set in present-day London and the second (which I competed in the summer) is set on present day Wight.

The third and fourth stories in this projected series have had to wait their turn because the idea for the Colony sequels came up and I’ve been busy with them. The finished manuscript of book two of the Colony trilogy was delivered on Tuesday.

An Absence is 25, 000 words or about 100 pages and I’m hopeful will satisfy those of you looking to be chilled by a ghost story as the Christmas season approaches. With long nights, short days and shivery weather, that’s the classic moment for huddling down with a ghoulish tale.

The phantom in this story is endowed with a seductive and deadly sort of glamour. She was always someone difficult to resist. But I’m not about to provide a spoiler for my own fiction, so if you want to know more you’ll have to lavish 99p on downloading it and experience a personal encounter with Rachel Gaunt. I hope you do and I hope you enjoy it.

 
 

‘A treasure trove of dark dreams and sinister sorcery’ –The Times

I’d like to send you a book, for free – the debut appearance of my favourite character, Ruthie.  

You just need to tell me where to send it…

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