One of the joys/frustrations/pitfalls of touring is the question that somebody in the audience inevitably poses: What's your next book about?
Sometimes I feel like saying: "I'm not even thinking about my next book. I'm trying to sell this one!"
That would be rude, so I'd never actually say it. But I can put it on my blog.
And, of course, I AM working on a book. Right now, what it's about is 120,000 words, and I'm not even done with the first draft.
The book, still untitled, is a mystery-suspense thriller. It's set mostly in New York and its suburbs about a year and half after 9/11. The buildup to the Iraq war is going on in the background (a motif that worked well in Ian McEwan's "Saturday"). There are side excursions to Florida and California, and some of the action harkens back to events that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s.
Even from this brief description, you can see that the book sprawls a bit. I'll have to tighten it as it goes through subsequent drafts. I hope to have the first draft finished by the end of the year, and I should be shopping it around sometime next year. So 2010 is the earliest I can see it hitting bookstores and Web sites near you.