If I discount Matho's introduction in Till the Day Go Down, which was really Harry and Alina's story, the first book of Matho's story is Treason. I'm sending Treason out to agents, and although I'm still writing the follow-up, Defiance, I'm getting pretty close to the end. It is both a relief and sad at the same time. Relief that I'll be finished with it for a while before I go back and do a second draft, and sad because poor old Matho is not in a happy place at the moment.
I have plans aplenty for what I'll do in the gap between first and second drafts. First and foremost, the tennis season is almost upon us here in the UK and I for one will be glued to whatever scraps the BBC red button allows me of the French Open, the Aegon tournament and Wimbledon. Then we have a holiday in France - though I'll take the laptop with me, and continue snatches of work, and this blog, there. (I hope the mice haven't got stuck in any more toasters during my absence.)
About three years ago I wrote a story called Keep Trust, set in late Victorian England and after a couple of refusals sent it to an Advisory Service. Their comments were so disheartening that I put the story away and now and then looked at the comments. At first they made me angry, but now I can look at them and consider how to use them. To be honest, it hasn't taken me three years to reach this happy state - after the initial six months of gradually simmering down, I forgot about it and started writing about Matho. Now, I may be able to make something of it. I still haven't decided if I shall turn it into a historical mystery, or add more social realism. Evidently if I have a main character who is Lord Blank and also a hands-on mineowner, then that makes it an uncomfortable fit in the popular genres - and a reason agents etc won't want it.
And yet, we're always being told that they're looking for something new and fresh. If I add more social realism and omit some of the romance, maybe that will slot it into a different genre. I can only go with my own gut feeling...if only I could decide what that was...
So, with a nod to the gentry mineowners of the North-East, I add a photo of the nearby Causey Arch, said to be the oldest railway bridge in the world. Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causey_Arch for more information.