I think most academics (and, in all likelihood, most writers) are familiar with the bizarre letdown one feels after a project is completed and published. It's done! And...now what do I do? The strange deflation of self one feels after filing a doctoral dissertation, for example, is just the first harbinger of a series of strange deflations to come. (John Stuart Mill would no doubt have something to say about this.) Luckily, if you're an academic involved in research, that next project is always on the horizon.
So. This year, I start what I've jokingly dubbed "Book Three and One Half" (the Robert Elsmere edition counting as the half), previously known here as "Expensive Book" (it requires travel to finish it). As some of you may have observed, this blog frequently concerns itself with religious fiction. (Ahem.) Book Three and One Half is--drumroll, please--a new history of nineteenth-century religious fiction in Britain. "In Britain" because it is not about fiction written by British authors, but fiction circulating in Britain during the nineteenth century--that is, it takes into account the American, French, German &c. novels that were imported, translated, and sometimes completely rewritten for a British readership. It's difficult, for example, to talk about the state of Catholic fiction in nineteenth-century Britain (strictly speaking, not that many people are talking about the state of Catholic fiction in nineteenth-century Britain, barring some exceptions, but never mind...) without mentioning that a lot of it comes from places that are not British. "Nineteenth century" because religious fiction did not magically spring into being with the Victorians, although the Victorians spent considerable time trying to define what it was (and, depending on the critic, hoping that it would either spread or quietly disappear).
"Hey, this sounds kind of...long?" Yes.
"Are you really going to write a book like this on a 3/3 load?" Why ever not?
"Is this project going to, like, completely take over your waking existence?" I expect there may be some detours into writing about neo-Victorian fiction (hello, twentieth and twenty-first centuries!), but...
"Does this mean more posts about religious fiction of dubious quality on your blog?" Excuse me while I rub my hands with villainous glee.