I was looking back at my archive and realised that on the 28th June 2017 I began work on my present novel, ‘Mesozoic’. This week I finished the second draft and moved the book into the editing phase. Without doubt seven months is the shortest amount of time that I have spent on writing a book!
All of my previous novels took at least eighteen months to two years to complete. The Sorrow Song Trilogy volumes all involved a lot of research, although that got easier with each instalment as I was constantly adding to what I had learnt. Eugenica also required a lot of research into the pseudo-science of eugenics and life in the 1930’s. That book also had some personal challenges that I had to meet because some of the ordeals that the characters when through, especially in the medical induction scenes, had actually happened to me.
Of course I should consider that Mesozoic will be my fifth novel and it is to be expected that I have learnt something about the art of writing by now. It might also be that as I changed my style for this story, less indulgence in descriptive writing and more in dialogue, that this has helped. Well, that might be the case except that Mesozoic is well over 75,000 words long, which is still a lot of words to write.
Another factor that I should consider is that although I did have to do some research in respect of the prehistoric life that appears in the book I am already a dinosaur fan to begin with. Much of the research I did was merely confirming what I already knew to be true about these animals. There was some work to do on the mechanics of time travel but that also involved using a little artistic licence. I did read several articles to get as much right in terms of today’s physics as I could but at the end, as travel back in time appears to be impossible in this universe as we currently understand it, I had to take a leap of imagination.
Ultimately, I think that real reason why this book was been written so quickly is that it was tremendous fun! I really enjoyed the whole experience. There were times when writing the War Wolf that I felt like I was getting bogged down in the minutia of historical detail. There were also times when writing Eugenica when I found the personal cost just a little too much to take. Mesozoic never presented any of those problems to me. It is an adventure story. It has the inevitable journey that is such a staple of this type of book. There is the bad guy and the chase to catch him. There are the heroes and there are the challenges that they face to resolves their predicament. There is also a message that we can become better than what we, as a species perhaps, currently are. On the whole it is all pretty positive stuff. I am hoping that readers will find it very entertaining as well.