A couple or three blogs ago I speculated idly about writing short stories, given that STARSHINE was on the slipway ready for launching and that a new Fonthill was virtually written. The short story scene is a genre that has always fascinated me and one that I have dabbled in over the years without much success.
Well, that's the way it must stay for the moment. With STARSHINE now on the retail shelves and the latest Fonthill - FIRE ACROSS THE VELDT, set against the background of the second Boer War, the one that ended in 1902 - due to be published in April of this year, my publishers are demanding two more novels about Simon, Alice and 352 Jenkins.
I have just signed the contract for these and they will be published in 2014 and 2015 respectively. I have had to slip back in time a touch to accommodate the first of the two, which is set in 1897 at the time of the great Pathan Uprising along the North West Frontier between India and Afghanistan - definitive Fonthill territory. The second, which will in fact be the eleventh in the series, concerns the remarkable and rather neglected invasion of Tibet by the British in 1904. The more I have researched both of these twists in the story of the late development of the British Empire, the more fascinated I have become in the unravalleling of the events.
I do hope that fans of Fonthill & Co will enjoy them. As for me, it is a treat to be back in the saddle with Simon again, thinking, with Fonthill, that I will fall off but managing somehow to hang on!