Hey, I’m Jack Horwood. And I think I hate that woman! I have no idea why I even listen when she tells me to come and talk to people about Job Hunt, books and Swings & Roundabouts. Bribery comes into it somewhere, I’m sure. She’s been baking Swedish cheesecake and made rhubarb and red wine compote to go with it. And really, how am I supposed to turn that down and all the memories that go along with it?
Not that there’s been a shortage of food in my life for the last two years. Not with Gareth and Daniel around. Some weekends, Nico and I have to go for an extra long run, just to make sure we don’t get fat with the other two cooking up a storm at home. But Swedish cheesecake is a thing of beauty – and it serves as both a thank you and an apology.
That’s what this is, of course. An apology. Jackie would have loved to present Swings & Roundabouts, the fourth book in the Power of Zero series, on the second anniversary of Job Hunt’s release. At some distant point in the past, this may have actually been A PLAN.
Why she wanted to tell you about the mess that happened when I organised a long weekend away in Northern Sweden and ended up head first in a police investigation, I can’t quite fathom. But I suppose it’s good for the boys to see how far they’ve come. And since Gareth and I were there when it all started two years ago, we have to stick around for the rest.
It got a bit hairy in places, that journey, but we got through it and we’re better for it. Same with Jackie, really. Without all of you reading and asking her questions and waving stuff at her on Twitter and Facebook, she wouldn’t still be here writing.
Nah, that’s crap. She’d be writing, but not necessarily about us. That’s only possible because you’re reading. Which is why it bugs her that writing Swings & Roundabouts takes such a long time. One problem is that it’s not an easy story to tell. Then, there’s this thing called life that doesn’t take a blind bit of notice of any of her wishes. And – most importanly – she’d rather take her time and make Swings the best book it can be, than rush it out the door.
I promise she’s been writing. A lot. There’s Leap of Faith that’s just out. There’s the original Power of Zero novella that keeps getting longer every time she bugs me about the stuff Rio and I got up to. There’s a new sci-fi story set in a London you might struggle to recognise and there’s also – though I’m proably not supposed to give that away just yet – the sixth Power of Zero book. That’s actually finished. She just needs to fill in the bit in the middle. And finish Swings, of course.
Come to think of it, bugging her about finishing Swings is an excellent kinda payback, don’t you think? For dragging me out when Gareth is oh-so-conveniently away on business and make me talk about stuff that wasn’t all that great when it went down.
I think that’s an excellent plan that I’ll execute with relish, and while taking full advantage of coffee and cheesecake.
Still, thank you all for sticking around – because sitting in front of a screen can get a bit lonely. And while she wasn’t looking, I’ve cribbed the first chapter of Swings, so you know what we’ve been up to. You can read it here…