When I finished writing Dead Cell last year, my head brimmed to overflowing with ideas for Books 2 and 3 of the series.
Craig Ramsey's character intrigued me, and I must have hit a winner because my readers enjoy him too. They also like Brianna Cogan. She's a strong female co-lead whose sceptical personality contrasts with Craig's beliefs in psychic phenomena. Brianna even doubts Craig's psychic abilities at first and tries explaining them away with logic. Then there's Emma Fraser, the cheeky Scottish lady who appears in ghost form to Craig. She loves burbling like a two-year-old to Craig and distracts him when he's conversing with other people so they think he's a freak.
So I loved my characters enough I wanted to write more. But time was running out.
Christmas came. I met an interesting couple. One of them inspired me enough to create even more material, a backstory for Emma. My muse worked overtime in my head.
Writing these ideas proved difficult. So many of them, so little time. My wife and I were expecting our first child soon. Priorities would soon change.
April came. So did our daughter Harper. Book Two, Demon Blade, was put aside. Harper needed attention from both Mum and Dad. I love our little girl so much, despite sleep deprivation from the two-hourly feeds we gave her - taking turns.
I'm not sure what inspired the new idea. It came from nowhere.
I was either coaxing Harper back to sleep while sitting in the recliner at 2am, or I was sitting on the toilet. But when the inspiration hit, I listened.
The thought of time travel came to mind. Stephen Hawking doesn't believe it possible to travel into the past. Why? Because we'd see those people from the future. Arguing is my strength. So I challenged Hawking in my thoughts. What if they do discover time travel and they don't want us to see them? What if they keep it secret among themselves?
Then something shot through my head. Mark Twain. A song called I Am My Grandpa. The Grandfather paradox; what happens if you travel back in time, meet your granddad as a young man, and kill him before your father is born? What if you ... Oh, that thought was plain nasty. Sleep deprivation is a sick, twisted and terrible beast. But I wondered. How can it happen without wrecking the time-space continuum?
And, that is how I came to think of Bootstrap's Journey, which is available for pre-order now (at your favourite digital bookstore) before its release on Boxing Day 2017. It's only 99c US for early bird orders. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.
What's the point of this, you ask? It's not just a shameless plug. My point is: after resting by taking time away from the keyboard (for a little bit) and allowing other ideas to flow, I found my next Craig Ramsey book is falling into place again.