Now that Julie Rutter’s latest adventure, The Hunted Angel, has clocked up its initial sales, I have spent much of the last couple of weeks doing housekeeping on my other books. All have gone through a thorough re-examintation by Word’s built-in grammar checker, which unearthed a number of minor errors that I had not realised were present. I was not a fan of Word until recently. I had used a previous incarnation in the early days before I was published, but I didn’t like it. Things change, though. I may spend a forthcoming post discussing the word processors that I have used. Suffice it to say for now, that I have been using the modern version of Word for about a year.

The reason is that they have revised it completely. Its ‘new’ ribbon interface may have been in use since 2010, but that only goes to show how deeply I disliked its predecessor and how willing I was to try almost anything else. All that changed with Microsoft 365. Finally, Word is an app that enjoy using. I also used its facilities to improve the presentation a little.

At the same time, I reworked the latest edition of The Author’s Manual to incorporate some new techniques that I had experimented with, and ended up using in The Hunted Angel. This involved rewriting several sections, mostly the one entitled Publish. The new edition is available now.

Having done that, I have started work on my eighteenth book. Don’t hold your breath. It is only about twenty pages long at the moment, but it is growing. The basics of a new story are in place. The new book is a departure from my previous efforts. I did have an idea for an eighth Avalind book, but I have shelved that for the moment. I think I need time away from The Kingdom and The Secret Angels Detective Agency. Unusually for me, the new work is written in the First Person, has a male protagonist and is set against real historical events: World War ll.

I had a vague idea of wriing a story from the point of view of a German prisoner of war in Britain. That idea began to develop when I read about spies that the Nazis planted in the UK prior to the Battle of Britain. The venture was called Operation Lena. It was a total failure. There were only about twenty-five of them, all poorly trained. One killed himself, several were captured and the rest simply gave themselves up, which goes to show how strong their loyalty to the Fuhrer really was. That set me thinking, abetted by a quotation from Game of Thrones: an enemy is a hero fighting for the other side.

The book is currently entitled Bruno’s Choice. It is the story of one Bruno Haslinger. As you probably know, Bruno’s homeland of Austria was incorporated into Hitler’s Third Reich in 1938, so its citizens became Germans. To me, that sounds a bit like the Scots suddenly being declared English. I can’t imagine too many of them being pleased with that. I am aware that Sophie’s Choice is a very famous film, so that title will probably not survive through to publication, but it will do for now. Anyway, Bruno is sent to a war-torn England to spy, coerced by threats against his family should he refuse. He has to make a choice.

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