I've nearly finished the second Shetland book. Another couple of chapters and the first draft will be done. Because I never plot, or even plan much in advance, there will always be extensive re-writes, but I enjoy that process. It's relaxing. The scary bit is actually wondering if you'll make it to the end with your vision of the book intact and a plot that works.
I'm feeling the pressure with this book. Because Raven Black received so much interest, it's almost like writing a second novel. I never intended that there'd be a sequel. Now that it's nearly done I'll be dependent on the critical eye of Sara and Moses, my agents, and Julie my editor. When you finish a book you're so close to it that you don't see that the pictures and the characters which are so clear in your head, don't come over on the page. And a script will have to go to friends in Shetland to check that I have the setting right.
Last night there was a taste of Shetland in Prudhoe, Northumberland. I was talking about the book and Mark the librarian had used a couple of my recipes to make cakes for the readers. Quite weird. The taste of peat - a chocolate concoction with crushed biscuits and sultanas and syrup - always takes me right back to the kitchen at the bird observatory on Fair Isle.