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.

9 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!

Leave a Comment