Yes, there was a bit of work in between. My new external hard drive turned up at the tail end of last week and there was a 24-hour period (spread over three days) of copying the contents of one drive onto the new one so that I had a mirror. I feel much happier now that I have everything doubled-up again, although I am painfully aware that I also need to back-up the rest of the files on my computer, not just the ones that I've put in "storage".
And I've been cleaning up artwork for what will hopefully be the next Bear Alley book. It's a comic strip reprint that I'm licensing, so I'm waiting until contracts are signed and money has exchanged hands before I announce it. But I'm on the second pass of the 120 or so pages of artwork and pondering on what I should write in the introduction. That's all I'm saying for the moment.
Available now from Bear Alley Books
Sales of the Countdown to TV Action index have slowed down considerably—perhaps everyone somehow realised I was taking a bit of a break? Seriously, you don't have to worry... just keep ordering. I can cope. For all you chart-watchers, this week's Top Ten all-time bestselling books from Bear Alley looks like this (with last week's position in parenthesis):
1 (1) Lion: King of Picture Story Papers
2 (4) Countdown to TV Action
3 (2) Eagles Over the Western Front volume 1
4 (5) Hurricane & Champion
5 (3) Pages from History: Illustrated by C. L. Doughty
6 (6) Eagles Over the Western Front volume 2
7 (7) Eagles Over the Western Front volume 3
8 (8) Ranger: The National Boys' Magazine
9 (9) London is Stranger Than Fiction
10 (10) Boys' World: Ticket to Adventure
I'm still sporting the beard I let grow towards the end of the Countdown book—something of a tradition I've had on long projects. Without deadlines, I need something to remind me to finish books off and there's nothing like an itchy new beard to do that. I've kept it fairly well trimmed this time and I'm not planning to shave it off until the next book is complete. Hopefully it will help keep me concentrated. Once my holiday is over.
The other two are by Len Potts and Ray Theobald. Hot Dames Die Cold was the very last Ben Sarto novel to be published—the 103rd if memory serves. They were a very mixed bunch but certainly the early yarns by Frank Dubrez Fawcett deserve a little attention. If you've never read any of the Ben Sarto novels, my article "I Kill 'em Inch by Inch"—available on Kindle—is a good primer to the kind of thing he wrote.