Our revels are only just beginning.
However, it’s been a bit of rollercoaster.
I finished A Broom At The Masthead. My original intent was that Masthead should go to a publisher, and the Uncivil Wars books would stay with me, and – well, I only really meant that Masthead should be a standalone adventure.
Yeah, right it would. Thomazine Babbitt, meekly saying yes, of course, I will go quietly into domestic obscurity – and more to the point, the rest of that ill-assorted brood she’s acquired going with her? Ha! I say.
So, there will be a second, and it will be called An Effusion Of Blood, and so far it seems to be about the battle of Dunbar and the Scots prisoners of war and the horrible things that happened in Durham cathedral, and more to the point what happened to them after Durham. Deported, or dead, or worse.
(There seems to be something of a theme of women who will not quit in my books, because Mara Gillespie wouldn’t give up, either.)
And the fact that there are two, and one is Masthead and one is – what it is – well, it’s a series, now. Which means, of course, that there has to be a name for the series, and that’s where it got tricky.
Russell – who does possess a sense of humour, when he’s allowed to – used to sign his letters from furrin parts as ‘Caliban’, in reference to his disfiguring scar. So I wanted to reference that, but at the same time it had a certain science fiction feel to it that I didn’t care for. So I dismissed the Caliban Papers as a bit too Dr Who. Likewise, the Tempest Papers and the Sycorax Papers – Caliban being, of course, the monstrous hslf-human son of the witch Sycorax in Shakespeare’s play.
Thomazine’s Classical nickname in the books is Penthesilea – Queen of the Amazons – but I can’t spell that twice the same way, so that was out.
And then someone said, Russell refers to himself as Caliban, but is he also his own Prospero?
Well, at the end of The Tempest Prospero means to drown his books and renounce magic.
And poor Russell means to renounce his intriguing – no, he does, really, he does –
So my series has a name.
The Drowned Books.