The novel set in second world war Estonia and prequel to Forest Brothers, by the way. All you hopeful teenagers will have to look on other sites for your kicks. 🙂
To give you an idea of the process; The novel is about 90% complete or at least to first draft. Once I have written that, I will give it a slow read through edit and check the continuity. The problem with producing a piece 80-90,000 words long, is that you don’t craft it all in one session. Even if you have planned out the plot with milestones along the way, you still need to check that the story flows – especially when you are writing multiple points of view.
For me, the plot needed to marry up with the timeline of actual and fictional events. It begins on the night of the Red Terror, when 10,000 arbitrarily chosen Estonians are rounded up and shipped to Siberia. (It was a dastardly event, most were women and children. The idea was to break down society and make everyone feel vulnerable and therefore compliant.) The story ends with a British agent paddles towards Estonian in a kayak, which brings you to the beginning of Forest Brothers.
The story follows Märt’s journey from baker to Forest Brother. As the story unfolded, it did not take long to bring in many other characters, including Maarja. This provides the back-story for the Estonians in ‘Forest Brothers’. It also allows me to bring to life some of the other characters who have only had cameo roles so far.
Once I am happy with my draft, I will ask my wonderful volunteers to read and comment. i also hope to be in Estonia at some point, where I can check the realities of the landscape and absorb myself in the culture. That is important for me, because I want it to feel right to people from Estonia, as well as those from outside.
Once that is done and any changes are made, I hope to submit it to the publisher. Timescales are flexible, as you still have to juggle life around it and there are many things to do away from being a writer for myself and everyone who assists me. I would love it to be ready in the second half of next year.