Back at the start of August, I submitted by 7th draft of the manuscript of The Fallen to my agent and put my feet up. I'd deserved it. I'd worked eleven months straight on it and was, quite frankly, exhausted and sick to the back teeth of it. If I never saw it again, it would be too soon. Anyway, three weeks later and, yep, you guessed it, I'm starting work on the 8th draft. I am starting to understand why so many writers drink themselves to death or blow their brains out at their desks. I was warned when I started on the second book that it would be the 'difficult second album'. Writing the sequel always is, apparently, and so it has proved. The pressure to improve on what came first, to show it wasn't a fluke, to deliver within the deadline. Well, I've failed on one of those already so, I'll try and make it two out of the three. The comments didn't come as a surprise. I'm in complete agreement with them all. The premise of the book was shaky, there was an awful lot which just happened by chance, rather than by endeavour within the storyline, in parts it was light on detail and historical fact. It read like a man who had run out of ideas and the will to live. Like I had. For all that, the spine of the book was still solid and there were some great action scenes which stood up to the scrutiny of my brilliant agent's editorial pen. So it's not a complete rewrite as I took it to be that first night I received the feedback, my head in my hands and my heart in my mouth. And, after a month off, with clear direction and energy reserves refilled, I'm raring to go, and the amends made so far are proving fruitful. AND I know what eventually comes out the other end in a few week's time will be a far far stronger book, which is what everyone wants. September is going to be tough going. Early starts, late nights, weekends given over to writing. Hey exhaustion is proving to be over-rated and my back teeth can take it.