New year, new book…

New year, new book…

At least that’s how it feels. Yes, I am currently working on the final edits of The King’s Man, sequel to The Order of the White Boar, which is hardly ‘new’ to me, having been finished in its first draft in November 2015. But, aside from wanting to finalize that, I’m also itching to get on with the next book in the sequence.

Currently lacking a title (suggestions please?!), the third book will pick up Matthew Wansford’s adventures in … well, after the end of The King’s ManI suppose to say anything more than that would count as ‘spoilers’ for anyone who hasn’t read the second book (most of you) – and perhaps doesn’t know where and when it’s likely to end.

I forget that some (most?) people reading this collection of musings that constitute my ‘blog’ don’t know Matthew’s story – and some may not know the story of his master King Richard III in great detail either. This latter fact may well make it tricky to write much about the process of creating the third book, which I hope to move on with in the next few months.


So, just for now, I’ll simply say that today, as I walked out on the moor, shrouded as it was with mist, mud and mouldering bracken underfoot, Matthew was with me, striding alongside, telling me tales of those days, long ago, when he served his master loyally, through every joy and every danger. Telling me of the people he met, the places he visited, the events he witnessed.

And I can say that the beginning and the end of the third book are known to me, the people painted for me as though I had been there with Matt and with them.

But will I be able to bring them safely to you, the reader, so that you can ‘meet’ them as Matt did? That remains to be seen. But I’ll do my best. And I’m heartened each time I recall the words of one reviewer about the portrayal of Richard in The Order of the White Boar. (See blog post ‘He feels much more human than he usually does…’)

Not only ‘more’, but ‘human’. Does Richard come across like a real person? Does Matt? Do his friends? I hope so.


To be able to bring characters to life, as ‘real’ three-dimensional people, is perhaps the most important thing for a writer of fiction. When they are historical characters – real people themselves in the past, as are several in my book – it’s perhaps even more important – although the danger then is perhaps whether readers ‘see’ them in the same way as the author. So far, I’ve been lucky… no one has said ‘that’s not how I see Richard’ – or Anne, or Edward. But there may just come a time, or a particular character …

So – new year, new challenge too. I hope I’ll be able to rise to it ….

(Image of King Richard’s reconstructed head: copyright Richard III Society)  and


About alexmarchantblog

A Ricardian since a teenager, and following stints as an archaeologist and in publishing, Alex now lives and works in King Richard’s own country, not far from his beloved York and Middleham
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