There are at least two more books in this Polar North series, and I have them sketched out. But with my imminent relocation to Brighton on 15th December, I'm not going to start on the next in the series until I'm there and the holiday season has been put to bed, which means January at the earliest.
So what do I do in the meantime?
Blog and post on Facebook seems to be the answer, which I have done with gay abandon, to record levels.
And almost all of it as J.K. Even here on Jack's web site, I'm writing as J. K.
So what happened to Jack?
Odd that I actually asked myself that today. What happened to Jack? Was it so easy to forget about him? Did he become the invisible man? Have I perhaps moved on?
It's been over six month since I released a Jack Brighton book. That might not seem like a long time to some, but for Jack Brighton it's an eternity. He's a prolific sod, or at least he used to be. Maybe he called himself Tom Farrell at times, just to have a different means of expression. But that was still Jack... and Jack is me. I am Jack Brighton, and I'm proud of that fact... Yet somehow I'm not going back to him during this limbo period. I'm not a Dr Jekyll who can knock back a potion and turn into Mr Hyde (although some might say that one too many whiskies does a similar trick).
He hasn't gone away, though. Jack is lurking under the surface, itching to come out. I could feel his influence when writing North to South. Some of the book is quite racy. It has to be with a theme of sex and violence, but I don't allow it to slip into erotica. Jack was pushing it that way, though. Or to stop sounding weird - I reverted to the genre when it wasn't appropriate, and it needed an editor to give me slap and tell me to sort it out. Jack, you might say, had to be put back in his box and the lid shut firmly down.
So with time on my hands, this might be a good time to let him out. With a couple of mouth before I'm going to start on the next Polar North book, I could write another Jack Brighton story. Yet I don't feel inclined. Maybe I just need a proper break from that stuff. This year's offerings were more of The Wild Side. Jack's bread and butter which I can write in my sleep. And after years of conditioning by the various censors, it all got toned down. It felt like Jack Brighton had lost his teeth.
Whereas J. K.!
It's only me and an few close friends who have had the chance to judge, but the consensus is that he's got plenty of bite. I think that North to South is by far and away the best thing I have ever written. It is leagues ahead of anything else I've put the Brighton name to. Whether that translates into better sales is another matter. But even if it flops miserably, I won't abandon the Polar North project for financial reasons. I won't go back to Jack for money.
But I will go back to Jack at some point. Perhaps over the next couple of months I'll dabble - not with The Wild Side, but with something new. When I go back to Jack it has to be with fresh eyes and fresh ideas... with a set of very, very sharp teeth, and writing that will give J. K. a run for his money.
That's what will happen to....