I have just written the last piece of narrative in my new Mexico book after 5 months of writing 7 days a week. It is a jigsaw of my journey, the personal difficulties of recovering from cancer, and the historical narratives As usual the result is nearly half as much text again as I actually need: target is 100,000 words which makes a 300 page book. I let it bloat in this way, because when I cut back, I cut the flab and leave the highlights. At least that's the theory. I'll give myself a break before I start that; editing is not as much fun as writing.
It has panned out much as I hoped, trying to interweave the themes, but I think the balance needs tweaking. The history tends to take over near the end.
Because of the cancer, the journey, following the footsteps of HernÃ¡n CortÃ©s, was twice cancelled, and I wrote the desk-based book Forgotten Footprints to keep myself going. There's a bit of a feeling of loss at putting the two ring-binders of the manuscript on the shelf. I feel much more settled when there is a long project ahead. Where next? Goodness knows! But I have an idea about India.