AC2 – an Open Letter

Dear Everyone Kind Enough to Follow this Blog,

I think if I were a follower of In The Long Run, I’d probably be very relieved that my email account was not being bombarded with strange stuff about arcane garden plants or even weirder pieces about an improbable detective/archaeologist called Alan Cadbury. And of course there were those accounts of Time Team shoots: ‘Day 3 and John Gator has fallen into the jaws of his radar scanner’. Or then there are those tales from the farm or from my visits to ancient sites in Britain and elsewhere. All have been absent from your screens for several months now. And I suppose this is by way of an apology.

Of course it’s all my own stupid fault. Maisie told me not to do it, but I pressed ahead, despite her dire warnings. And as she predicted, progress on the new book was checked by the appearance of The Lifers’ Club proofs. Then around springtime it was lambing, closely followed by the proofs of HOME: A Time Traveller’s Tales from Britain’s Prehistory. And finally my skin cancer face cream thing happened.  But still I persisted with the second Alan Cadbury book (which I refer to as AC2). So something had to give, and I’m afraid it was this blog.

So I am absolutely determined: I will never repeat the same mistakes in the future. I’ll manage my time far more carefully. And I’ll continue to make impossible resolutions – which I’ll ignore, and then regret. So then I’ll make some more. Can you detect a pattern beginning to emerge?

But now for the good news, if that is, you’re a follower of Alan Cadbury’s exploits. I’m now about ¾ of the way through it, and with luck I’ll have the first draft of the manuscript ready for my Editor, the great Liz Garner, sometime in November (I’d originally promised late October, so that’s not too bad…). Meanwhile I’m about to start completing the necessary forms for Unbound so that they can (a) approve of the project and (b) get an idea of its size and scope. So far I’ve written about 100,000 words, so the final version will probably be about 130-140,000, which is roughly the same size as Lifers (or AC1, as I sometimes think of it). I think we’ll launch the AC2 fund-raising campaign before Christmas, if all goes well.

And I know I should be paying more attention to my Author’s Shed – a blog, in effect – on the Unbound website, but that, too has suffered, like my own blog. There are just too few hours in the day, I’m afraid. I do, however,  very occasionally find time to do stuff for other people. Alan Cadbury gave me this blog post for the DigVentures website. It’s a bit scurrilous, I’m afraid, but I hope I managed to edit out all the actionable passages. Anyhow, here’s the link

So watch this space and please, please inundate me with bottles of cheap Cava when I do eventually finish the AC2 manuscript, sometime next month. Hopefully. Fingers crossed. With luck.

Anyhow, this picture is what my desk looks like when I set down to work each morning.

My desk, writing AC2The manuscript is on the big screen. The smaller computer on the left is linked to the web and my notes and sketch maps of AC2’s main site in its setting, are to the right. I also have a mini-iPad which I use to check quick things such as the spelling of Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St. Edmunds (well worth a visit, if you like later Bronze Age metalwork, incidentally).

Now it’s back to the creative grind-stone, the quern, the mortar…. Pestle off, Pryor!



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