This month, Philip Pullman returned with the first instalment of The Book of Dust, the follow-up to my favourite books of all time, His Dark Materials.
I was therefore incredibly distracted by before, during and after its publication. It has been 17 years since HDM concluded and I never expected The Book of Dust to happen, despite Pullman's teasing promises.
Returning to the magical world of daemons was a dream come true. Pullman remains the master of trusting young readers with adult concepts. Organised religion naturally gets a good kicking but the antagonist Gerard Bonneville stands out as his creepiest villain to date. Also, Pullman drops the F-bomb, like, all the time!
I must say, I thought the ending was a bit abrupt. I needed one more chapter to wind down and see the characters reunited with their friends and families. I also cannot see how this is Part One of a trilogy. Currently, it feels like a standalone prequel. But I trust in Pullman. Bring on the next two instalments.
Daemons aside, I did manage to get some writing done. I started writing a novella set within the world of Nephos. I need to get it finished asap because it's the final (and titular) story for my next collection, which I hope to publish before Christmas.
NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. Perfect motivation to get those words written. Let's do this.
What else have I been up to?
- I hosted a debate with my writer's group about whether my Nephos novels should be targeted at children, young adults, or adults. Responses were inconclusive. I've therefore decided to stop worrying about target audiences. I figure I'm a self-published author so I don't need to fall into a neat category.
- I won a writing competition! It was set by the Chair of my writers' group, which challenged us to finish a short story started by his Nan.
- I ran my 13th half-marathon in 1:38:24.
- Finally, author AA Abbott used my quote on the revamped cover of her novel After The Interview. Looks great!
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