Book Six Complete; What Next?

I have recently completed my latest book, with a working title of ‘Conditions Are Different After Dark’. While I go through the process of seeking a publisher, I need to decide what to write next. As a starting point, I am revisiting my published books to compare the elements that make them unique.

My first three books, The Invisible College trilogy, were written for young adults. The series is set in a hidden village and describes a plot by a secret sect to create a dramatic event to gain world power at the risk of destroying the planet. 

Another Life combines the recollections of a man who believes his life to be a failure with a search for the Green Man of folklore and science fiction. 

The Visitors is a sequel to the Invisible College trilogy, set fourteen years on. The protagonists face a new challenge: how to communicate with alien invaders who bring gifts but may be seeking something in return. 

Conditions Are Different After Dark combines contemporary horror and alternative history through a curse uttered over four hundred years ago.

What do they have in common? They are all speculative fiction sub-genres. They subvert the rational day-to-day lives of their present-day protagonists with something weird, adding elements of science fiction and folklore with hints of the supernatural. They pose problems which demand the resolution of sometimes complex moral issues. They make the familiar strange and the strange familiar. To quote Ben Johnson, the most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together, creating a cognitive dissonance.

I have a choice whether to continue to write in similar genres or to try something new. How should I take this forward to develop a new novel? The answer will be found through imagination, thought and research. If I can identify unusual events and link them in a credible way to the everyday, the rest should come naturally.

More to follow over the coming months.