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  • Writer's pictureRobin

The story continues… with a new author at the helm.

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

For fans and followers of The Merriman Chronicles, you already know that my late father, Roger Burnage, was the brains behind the series. His inspiration for Merriman was found in the novels of C.S. Forester, Patrick O’Brian, Dudley Pope and many more. Some of these fine works still sit on his bookcase at home. Alas he wrote his last in 2015 when an illness got the better of him.

It’s hard to think back to those last weeks and days before Dad passed away. We used to sit and chat about his books and especially new story ideas - of which he had plenty. Sadly, it had got to the stage where he knew he would not be able to write anymore. Holding a pen was difficult and he could no longer type. We did manage several sessions recording his ideas – I made notes and used a tape machine – but eight years later, I still can’t bring myself to listen to those tapes. I tried once, but hearing his voice, so weak and feeble, I found it unbearable.

Dad was very insistent that he wanted me to carry on with the series, so I guess that one day… I will have to pluck up the courage and listen to them all. On a positive note, he did leave behind many pages of notes and title suggestions for at least another 30 novels. With all of Dad’s notes and the papers rescued from behind the fireplace (ahem!) we have lots to work with. We can go forwards with Edward Merriman, go back 90 years and finish the career of James Merriman, or even start afresh with James’s own son. Back to that in a moment.

He also left one more completed novel which I finally managed to publish late last year. The Fateful Voyage introduces Edward Merriman – the Great Grandson of James Merriman – nearly 90 years after the first book was set. This is a great standalone novel that can be read without any reference to the rest of The Merriman Chronicles. Eventually it should fall into place (say, book 47 in the series!) but maybe I am being a bit ambitious thinking about getting it all done. It’s going to take some time!

Even the least observant reader will have sussed out that something is brewing. Yes – there is a new novel in progress. I am not ready to disclose too much information just yet, but I am working on the next instalment for James Abel Merriman which picks up after Book 7 – The Threat In The Adriatic.

The title is a work in progress – The Threat In The ********** is most likely. Sorry, not sorry, you will have to wait and see. I will say it involves HMS Thunder and some of the remaining crew including Mr Shrigley. About anything else… my lips are sealed!

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