I suppose it’s ironic that Astronomicon: Deadline doesn’t actually have a deadline. It will, as they say, take as long as it takes. It’s always difficult to predict just how long a book will be before it’s written but, based on my planning and progress so far, I would estimate that it is now about one third complete. As the planning stage takes (very) roughly as long as the writing stage, for me anyway, that puts the project as a whole just past half way.
I am more nervous about this book that anything I’ve written previously. Writing humour is more of a challenge in several ways. First of all I don’t know for sure that everyone else will find the same things funny as I do. A humorous novel also requires several levels of humour. Obviously you need funny events spread fairly evenly throughout the novel, but you also need ongoing humorous themes, amusing characters and funny interactions which have been brewing for a while but not necessarily noticed by the reader until that punchline moment.
My aim is to make the reader smile repeatedly while reading, not to strive to make everyone laugh out loud. I suspect that requires much more experience than I have acquired yet. Trying to be too funny is clearly going to be a recipe for falling flat on my face and ruining the story. I suppose it’s a case of learning to walk before I try to run!
Even ignoring the humour element, I think the story is a winner, an adventure which draws the reader into the world of two people uncovering a secret against forces they didn’t even know existed. It’s primarily science fiction but with more than a touch of thriller mixed in. Deadline has a cast including some of my best characters yet, explores another exciting aspect of the Astronomicon universe and demonstrates more of the technological developments. I am really looking forward to getting this one published.