I am deep into work on my next (and final) novel in The Black Douglas Trilogy. It isn't coming easy. I hadn't researched the years after the Battle of Bannockburn as deeply as I had the years before and I needed some additional books. I am still waiting for the part of Bower's Scotichronicon that covers from 1320 to 1360 and the cost made me cry. But I have most of what I need and am just looking for bits and pieces I may have missed. Of course, much of it is open to question and a lot of details are lost in the shroud of history. All the more fun for me.
I am still wrestling with a big question. Who WAS the mother of James Douglas's bastard son, later known as Archibald the Grim or Black Archibald? Admittedly it could have been anyone, including the local milkmaid, but the fact that Archibald grew up in the King's household is rather mysterious. Even King Robert's illegitimate children were not normally a part of the royal household. And Archibald eventually became the 3rd Earl of Douglas. A bastard becoming powerful and inheriting was not unknown in 14th century Scotland, but was a long way from the norm. This leads me to speculate that the mother had some power in addition to his being Douglas's son. But who would she have been?
Another big question is the title. I am wavering on choosing "The Hammer of England" in spite of some people saying that it sounds as though he was English. TheOldNat suggested Mell of England since I've been known to sneak in a word or two of Scots. Of course, hardly anyone would know what the title meant (it means a wooden mallet in Scots) but that might not be a big issue. Or it might be.
I'm open to suggestion on both questions.
Anyway, I am researching and writing away at it. The artist is working on art for the cover and I have a cover designer ready to design the cover. My editor is ready. Unless something really unexpected happens the final book in The Black Douglas Trilogy will be out early next year.