I have now passed the 115,000 word mark. I don’t know what the 115,000th word was because I was already more than 400 beyond it before I realised. It makes no difference really. The work has still to be edited so whichever word occupies that landmark when the book is published will almost certainly not be the one that occupies it now.

The important thing is that the first draft is approaching completion. Not long to go now. I am about to begin the climax, so maybe another 10,000 words. I know that sounds a lot, but it equates to roughly 30 pages in a printed book. It doesn’t seem so much after all, does it?

Another job I need to do now is start thinking about the cover. I have an account with an online picture library, called Dreamstime, who have thousands – possibly millions – of copyright-free images for sale on any subject that you could ever think of. The idea is that a client searches for a suitable image and buys it. It is then downloaded to his computer and disappears from the library (although a restyled one may replace it). Once bought, the image becomes the property of the client, who is free to manipulate it as much or as little as he or she wishes. Should the client lose the image, a copy can be downloaded from their user area.

That is the process. I choose the image and download it, then fire up my photo editing software (Photoscape – it’s free, I recommend it). This enables me to trim it to fit a book cover, alter it in any way that seems appropriate and add the cover text (the title and my name usually).

When I have selected an image, I will post it here prior to publication, so you will be the first to know.

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