Dead End

I’ve been trying to figure out why going to work, to be precise, going to novel-writing work, has become something I dread. If an editor gives me the green light on a piece of journalism, I go to it with relish. But Dr Dan 5? At 9am with the file open on my laptop, oh woe, ever-so woe is me.

It pains me to say this but I’m not sure Dan 5 will ever see the light of day. Though I made a determined start on it several months ago I find I’m defeated by its unavoidable theme: the pandemic. This morning, yet again, I’ve been searching for plot points where I could insert a bit of comedy. Trust me, there are none. Covid-19 has changed doctors’ lives in entirely negative ways and Dan’s story, which I have always tried to keep realistic, must reflect that.

There is also, of course, the Trevor Buxton factor. He was respiratorily (is that a word?)-challenged in Book 1. What chances for him seven years on, with a virus that can wreck even healthy lungs? Truth be told, I can’t bear to kill him off. I want to leave him as he is at the end of Dr Dan, Dr Dad, blissfully happy in an unexpected frost-blossom romance.

What, if anything, to do? I suppose I could release a few Dan 5 excerpts here on my website. I might even try writing Dr Dan’s Covid diary (less onerous than plotting a novel). If nothing else, that could be my penance for complaining about the GP protocols we’ve all been subjected to since early 2020. At the practice where I’m registered it is still almost impossible to see a doctor face-to-face and I know that’s not unusual. But face-to-face has been the very essence of Dr Dan’s work.

Will doctors ever go back to the old ways? It’s hard to imagine they will. Could there be a cheerful post-pandemic Dr Dan book somewhere down the line? Never say never. But, forgive me dear, loyal readers, I can say with confidence, it won’t be this year.

18 Comments

  1. Sheila Corbishley on June 30, 2022 at 10:26 am

    I can’t say anything because I haven’t read any Dr Dan yet, but you can be sure it’s just a matter of time. My husband and I (that sounds like the Queen) have come late to Laurie Graham’s books, and my goodness, do we enjoy them! We are soooo grateful to have found her. We don’t generally read the same books so it’s lovely to be able to laugh over and discuss whichever one we’re reading. I’m in the middle of The Humble Companion at the moment and he’s just finished Gone with the Windsors, which he insisted on reading bits aloud from even though I’d just read it. I’ve loved all the ones I’ve read so far so much that I’ve been reduced to stopping for a bit and starting books by other authors in order to prolong the pleasure. As a writer myself, I’m in awe of her productivity because the standard is always high, which is definitely not the case with some prolific authors I could mention.

  2. Liz P on July 2, 2022 at 4:38 am

    So sorry about Dr Dan I was hoping for this for my winter holiday reading I love all the books so
    Much I have just finished 9th reread of Mr Stsrlight your a genius!!!

    • Brenda Forster on July 22, 2022 at 5:49 am

      Dr Dan is amazing and my friends and I were so looking forward to how he coped with the Pandemic. I imagine it must be very challenging but we live in hope that you will continue his story. Thank- you for giving us 4 fabulous books about Dr Dan xxxx

  3. Liv Handley on August 9, 2022 at 11:43 am

    I love the Dr Dan books, but I think, as much as I would love another – the pandemic would be very difficult to write about, without at least some distance in time between it and the book. Having lived through the challenge of covid wards, and all the horrible experiences, never mind the awful time GPs (and to a lesser extent hospital staff) continue to have – it feels like an almost impossible exercise in writing at the moment!
    And goodness, I can’t bear the thought of covid getting Trevor, don’t let that happen!

  4. Wendy Chappell on August 23, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    Could you please maybe write a blog to let us know exactly what the problem is with Adam?

  5. Grey Girl on September 13, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Very sorry to hear there probably won’t be a Book 5 – but I do see your point about the Pandemic. Chances are Trevor would have succumbed…
    Perhaps you could bear to share some of what you have written as a sort of ‘Dr Dan Blog’? I am sure we will all be delighted to have whatever we can!

  6. Grace Notes on October 2, 2022 at 2:01 pm

    I just finished Gone with The Windsors and am delighted to discover such a talented author. Better late than never, right?

    While trying to decide which of your books to read next, I selfishly hope that, while I work my way through your catalog, you are inspired to begin a new one, as I am a lamentably fast reader. Lol

    Knowing how very much professional writers love hearing suggestions about what to do next (not at all), perhaps the similarities between the Sussexes and the Windsors may offer food for thought.

    Meanwhile, thank you very much for the book I just read and for the anticipated pleasure of those I have yet to read.

  7. Corks on October 14, 2022 at 5:59 am

    Please don’t put Dr Dan into hibernation. Could he not exist in a parallel universe where Covid didn’t happen?

  8. Anna on October 21, 2022 at 5:27 am

    There’s so much history awaiting your clever, funny hand so why not give Dr Dan a sabbatical and write about someone else? I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all your historical fiction and just finished Gone with the Windsors-what a treat!

  9. Philippa on January 8, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    I think you should win an award for best book titles ever. I just love Gone With The Windsors and The Importance of Being Kennedy.How clever is that! I have only just discovered Dr Dan so have those to keep me going for a bit! Do hope you can delight us with more wonderful books soon, Dr Dan or any other subject. How about a gardener or housekeeper at Montecito?

  10. Peter Frost on February 6, 2023 at 3:52 pm

    Send him and his delightful crew on holiday to some delightfully bizarre place. You can happily skip all of COVID – please do, we’re all so over it – Buxy’s been isolating with his paramour, Dan’s left the practice and is singing semi-professionally. These then are the antics of our beautifully crazy lot let loose after a torrid time. I suggest Zanzibar, they can get lost on a dhow, run into the ghost of Freddie Mercury (or a long lost sibling) and decide to stay.

  11. Michelle on February 7, 2023 at 10:51 am

    I have just finished my, lost count, re read of the Night In Question and I never fail to appreciate the amount of research that went into this book.
    I’m sat here thinking what is my favourite book? And have come to the conclusion, it’s always the last one I read.
    I look forward very much to any new work, would love another Dr Dan book but can totally under the challenges

  12. Catrin Richards on April 13, 2023 at 5:49 pm

    I downloaded the first 2 Dr Dan books during the 1st lockdown when I was looking after my parents in Wales.
    I completely went off reading during the pandemic and tried on several occasions to lose myself on a book.
    Three years later, and still not reading, I opened the 1st one last week – and have just finished reading the 4th!!!!
    Thank you for helping me to rediscover my love of reading again – and thanks for the Dr Dan series.
    In fact thank you for all your books!!

  13. JillywithaJay on June 28, 2023 at 3:14 pm

    Laurie,

    I have been pondering on how to phrase my approach. Should I cajole? Should I be stern? But frankly
    it’s been a full year now – where are you? I miss you; and I’m sure that I am not alone (are you shut away working on something fabulous for us? I hope so!!)

    Please write!!

  14. Maura Ahern on August 31, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    Laurie I keep checking in the hope you are releasing a new book – please come back soon, I miss your storytelling and wit. I also love learning historical facts and how you weave your characters around them.

  15. Michelle on September 12, 2023 at 3:17 pm

    Just back from a visit to Wales and spent so much time thinking of the places mentioned in Dr Dan, even visited a few!
    Please let us know how you are Laurie

  16. Pat Davis on January 25, 2024 at 5:08 pm

    Where are they now, the people making the Perfect Meringues and is that poor chap still running away from The Ten O’clock Horses…I have loved all your books Laurie…re-read them many times. Still want to take a running kick at the terrible old Mum in Meringues..although she makes me howl with laughter.
    But never mind all that and dump Dr Dan..Maybe write nothing for a while…think, doze, dream ride your bike if you have one…in there among the synapses there is a fresh lot of characters hovering, waiting for you to open their door….and let them out. Please.

  17. Glenys Hilton on March 10, 2024 at 9:33 am

    I think I have now read everything you have published! Just embarking on the last Dr Dan book and can honestly say I’ve enjoyed each and every one. Your characters are so true to life and utterly believable. I can understand the Dr Dan dilemma but please don’t let it stop you writing novels they are such a joy. Thank you

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