I keep coming across this quote from Douglas Adams:

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

You’ve probably come across it before, it seems to do the rounds on the World Wide Web quite often.

And I expect you can identify with it too. I know I can. I’ve set myself so many deadlines over the years, and seen (and heard) them fly by that I’m amazed I still bother.

But bother I do.

I’ve been looking at my schedule of novels planned for the next couple of years and, yes indeed, I have stuck deadlines on all of them.

But, bearing in mind Douglas Adams’ warning for inveterate deadline setters such as myself, I decided against making those deadlines public.

After all, why should I share the horror of my missed deadlines with you when I am sure you have plenty of your own?

On the other hand I thought you might like to see what I have planned next, without deadlines but in chronological order of intended production.

Here goes then (whether you’re interested or not):

Priority Number One

At the top of this list, of course, is Joe Coffin Season Four. I am ashamed and embarrassed at how long it has taken me to write this fourth instalment in the Joe Coffin Series. Honestly, I published Season Three in February 2017, and that one was behind schedule. I had intended to bring out a new Joe Coffin novel once a year, which meant number three should have been out on October 31st 2016 and number four October 31st 2017.
Well, here we are in October 2018 and I’m afraid Joe Coffin Season Four is going to miss another deadline: the 31st of this month.
I know, I know. I’m sorry.
What can I say?
Life took over, as it sometimes does.
But hey, the good news is, Season Four will be out later this year. All being well. Hopefully.
Okay, moving on . . .

Priority Number Two

Number two on my list of novels to write and publish is Planet of the Dinosaurs Book Two: The Journey North.
This is one I’ve been looking forward to getting back to and finishing for a while now as it is already half completed. I’ve also got a pretty good idea where the rest of the book is headed, so hopefully once I get stuck back into it (which is happening in the next week or two) I should make some speedy progress.

Priority Number Three

Ah now, this is where my plan starts getting a little vague.
I have three options.
One is to go straight back into the world of gangsters and vampires that is the Joe Coffin series and start work on Season Five. I’d love to get that one out fast, maybe the end of May 2019. As an apology of sorts for keeping everyone waiting so long for number four.
Or, I could write a new romance novel. I haven’t written one of those for a while either.
Or, I could finally, FINALLY, get around to writing the second book in the Caxton Tempest series. It’s only been eleven years since I published Caxton Tempest at the End of the World.

Time to hang my head in shame again.

Don’t look at me like that.

Shit happens, okay?


After that, well, I have a sackful of stories I intend telling you. Oh yes.

More Seasons in the world of Joe Coffin.

More Planet of the Dinosaurs and a spin-off series looking at what happened to the people left behind.

More short stories.

A web-based serial, either free to read or protected by a subscription based paywall but with lots of other goodies included in membership.

A novel I have been incubating for a while in the back of my subconscious and is now stirring and demanding attention. I don’t want to say too much at all about this one. But I can tell you this: It’s going to be my riff on the movie Jaws, a love letter to it if you like, but so much more than that too. It will also be based on a true story.

All right, so I need your help. If you’ve been paying attention so far, you will have realised that the publication of Joe Coffin Season Four is (at long last) drawing close.

After that, it will be the second in my Planet of the Dinosaur young adult series.

But what about the next project?

Well, why don’t I let you decide?

Cast your votes below and I shall do as you bid.



Ken Preston

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  1. Ken, you mentioned it has been 11yrs since Caxton, and I have been there with you from the start getting my 1st edition and some posters from you. I believe you should follow your heart and write what is in you at the time. If you haven’t the foggiest of where Joe is heading in season 5 and know Caxton’s direction, go that route or vice versa.
    As a writer you force a plot and storyline, so whatever you choose I am in it for the long haul and hope I qualify as one of your longest fans that can impart some words of wisdom once in 11yrs.

    1. Hi Matt, yes! You are one of my longest fans, if not the longest! I still have a letter that you sent me years ago.
      Thank you for your comment and input. I will go with the result of the poll, but then immediately after I will move onto the next book. I think I have a pretty good idea of where they are both going, actually.

  2. Hi Ken
    Although I’m a fairly recent fan of Joe Coffin and have not read Caxton I have to agree with Matt. Let your heart take you.

    1. Hi Cheryl, thanks for commenting. I think I am leaning towards writing Joe Coffin 5 first, but we shall see. As I said to Matt, I’ve got a good idea where they are both headed narrative wise. I hope you get around to reading Caxton Tempest at some point, a lot of people enjoy it and it’s one of my favourites of my own books.

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