Well, today I finished the new non-fiction book. It's a hybrid of my calendars that I used to make each year and sell. My book has the months as chapters, the first chapter being November. Each chapter has a longish synopsis of the Taylor & Graham book occurring in that month, a longer explanation of the custom on which the plot is based, and recipes that are associated with or can go along with the custom. I had such a good time researching more information on the customs -- I need to do something with my knowledge! Of course, right now my novels reach only to June. So, to make my non-fiction book hold a year's worth of books, customs and recipes, I had to figure out what the last four books would be. I figured out which customs I would use, sat down one lovely spring day and came up with the plots of the four books, and wrote out the synopsis and then the customs sagas. I plopped those into the non-fiction book and then the fun began of finding recipes for all twelve customs.
This is not as daunting as it might have been. I have several British cookery books and I know some of the foods associated with some customs, like having parkin, baked potatoes and lemonade on Bonfire Night. I also had two articles I'd written some years ago on two customs, so I used those. Plus, of course, some lengthy synopsis on most of the books. So I really had to write about half the book.
Next comes proof reading and waiting for Swan Song and A Well Dressed Corpse to come out. I think it would be pushy on my part to submit another manuscript before my latest and greatest have left the printing press. I'll wait at least a day after I get my copies of the novels....
My non-fiction book has the advantage of use as a standalone book (fun to read without having read any of the Taylor & Graham), a cookery book (hey, 300 recipes -- there's gotta be one in there you'd kill to have!), and of course a great companion piece to the T&G series. And you'll know what's coming up in the next few years because I've got the four synopsis of the unwritten four books included. And no, it's not the end of the series. Unless you know something I don't know. I just thought it would be a tidy bundle to have 12 novels, 12 customs, and 12 months of recipes within one book cover.
So that's where I am. I'm extremely tired; I've worked on this nearly non-stop for over a week, putting in 10-12 hour days at the keyboard. But I hope the effort will be worth it. I guess I'll find out sometime.