The caving novel now has a title. That is, unless I change my mind again (or for some bizarre reason decide to go with a real publisher, who wants another title).
It is (probably) going to be called NOT THE DARK THAT KILLS YOU. Unlike the short story, which is just a character piece, the novel definitely falls in the suspense genre. At the moment it’s undergoing a native speaker’s review (and Cthulhu only knows how that’s going to turn out), after that there’s going to be a round of editing, proofreading, cover artistry and other strange stuff I’m not yet familiar with.
If I’m going to go ahead with the self-publishing thing, the novel will be available for purchase late this year, depending on how difficult certain things turn out to be. If I end up trying to sell it to a real publisher instead, it’s going to take longer than that.
But. Whatever happens with Not the Dark, I have started work on a second caving-themed novel. At the time it’s just a character / plot writeup, an outline of the structure, and a very rough first draft of a couple of early chapters. These things are hardly ever final. Not the Dark was, at outline level, 25 chapters and 60,000 words, but id ended up ballooning a little. For the second caving novel, I have an outline that would be about 75,000 words. We shall see what happens.