I’ve recently promised a new update on my second book, The Black Glass Killer, and it’s been a long time since I’ve done one when considering that my previous update was in early September. While I’m dedicated to being open and honest about the progress of my work at all times, I also believe in necessary updates after milestones. If you’re unsure of what my second book is about, be sure to read the introduction as well as the teaser for it, although by now the book has changed and evolved so significantly that those wouldn’t do a whole lot more than offer a taste. With that in mind let’s take a look at how things are going with this new book of mine.

In September last year I reported that I had reached the 100 A4 page mark. Since then an equal amount of work has gone into the background and the actual writing to progress the book forward. What do I mean by that? I’m specifically referring to the planning of the book and the meat of the content. I’m currently on 120 A4 pages, and while that sounds like minimal progress given the time, there are significant milestones to take into account. In September I was on Chapter 12 with 43,418 words to the book, yet now I’m on Chapter 14 but with 52,500 words. I’ve added much more depth and necessary plot detail to previous chapters, as well as re-imagined many aspects of the story and emphasised the primary three characters more. Many changes are still going to happen as I simplify the focus somewhat.

However the most significant milestone and reason for the lack of progress in numbers is that I’ve done far more planning on the book than I’ve done in a long time. I would say that I’m about 85% or more completed with planning, and I now actually have a first draft ending in mind in addition to a clear path to get there as well as the twists along the way. In previous updates I’ve stated that I’ve opted not to plan the book as meticulously and as extensively as my first book, The Sorrow, preferring to instead write in a more flowing manner. For the most part I have lived up to that, but so many exciting ideas have come to mind of where to take the book that I’ve had to take a backseat from focusing purely on writing to explore and map out the possibilities.

I can categorically state that this will not be a happy or pleasant read, as The Black Glass Killer is focused on the darkness within people caged by their own demons, and the seemingly limitless and scary danger of psychopathy. I want people to be uncomfortable by the characters, to be uncomfortable by the lack of value of human life and to be uneasy about the degree of violence and absence of reason for it. In a way my objective is to make people force themselves to become detached while reading it, just like the protagonist. I would surely be concerned if people relate to him!

I’ve stated in previous updates that the book focuses heavily on murder without motive, and I’ve studied the most violent killers in history to do that. I’ve paid specific attention to the way their stories lack neat wrap-ups or often clear, easily explainable reasons for their actions. The scary part was indeed in the dozens of bodies they left behind without empathy, and often when their story concludes it’s without glamour, justice or sweetness. Nobody wins. To that extent The Black Glass Killer is as much a character study as it is far-fetched entertainment — and it is that.

The themes, however, are ones I took quite seriously, and one of the most important and newly emerging ones in the book is whether ‘one bad day’ is enough to turn an ordinary person into something evil. What I mean by that — and I’m drawing from the graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke here — is that morally questionable characters are often made that way by one dark event in their past, or one bad day, presumably so that it’s easier to sell to an audience and it simplifies the narrative. In The Black Glass Killer I want to play around with that concept a little bit, and even break down the characters and taunt them for it. I’m excited to see where I can go with this.

As a final point I will reiterate that the book is a lot darker than my first. There are no good guys; the innocent or pure are merely disposable or there to be used. The violence is far less emotional than my first book and much more jarring. I’ve also gone for less monologues and inner rationales, and more focusing on expression through action. My objective is to keep readers from understanding or getting on board with the primary three characters, as each time they do, well, something or another is going to hopefully change that. In short: don’t take what any of these cretins say at face-value.

Right, I’ve been rambling on for long enough I’d imagine!

On the subject of when it will be released, I will refrain from providing a date. As I’ve stated in the past I usually set personal, unrealistic deadlines on purpose as they motivate me to progress as much as possible, but I realise it’s best not to publicise those. I will say however that I’m confident of releasing the book this year, although it will only really be out when it’s ready and in the best state I am able to put it in. I do however hope to have the next update out in shorter time, to which I will do my best. Although life somehow keeps getting busier, and that’s a challenge all on its own.