I have decided to write a book about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. I have been looking at the case in earnest since it was announced around May 2014 that Operation Grange was to dig up 3 sites in central Luz. Note that reality actually turned out to be 1 dig in central Luz and 2 outside, to the east, but it was the announcement that kicked me off.
I have been asked two questions about why I am writing a book about the case. First, what is the motivation behind this? Second, do I intend to get a publisher? The second question is simply a sharper variant of the first.
The answer to the first question is easy. To organise my understanding of the case I am using SIL 1 technology, quite reminiscent of the PJ in 2007 – a combo of a spreadsheet and my brain. The PJ Files were released with over 11,200 pages. The number of media articles, interviews, TV shows and books is immense. What I have in my spreadsheets right now is a tangled spaghetti mess. Trying to dig out a cite is tougher than Operation Grange found how hard the Algarve had been baked in June 2014.
Operation Grange has Holmes 2 at its behest. I need to upgrade my system from SIL 1 to SIL 2. That particular part is a simple concept, but laborious to carry out.
I have picked a book as the base format because it makes me strive for 2 goals. I have to get an organisation that works more efficiently for me. That is cutting the 2007 incident into chunks that I now recognise as important, going forward into 2017.
The second aim is that it should make sense to others who have a fair degree of experience and expertise on the case. I interact with knowledgable others about what happened and I have learned many a significant advance from them. I am grateful for this. And so, I want SIL 2 to be capable of putting back into their pot. To continue the intelligence exchange. To advance the search to find out what happened to Madeleine. And to achieve that, broadcast mode on my ShiningInLuz blog does not work well. I need to organise SIL 2 around conversation mode, or more accurately, exchange mode. Probably forum mode?
The second question was “do I intend to get a publisher?”
I don’t think any publisher nowadays would publish a book about Madeleine McCann unless the author was one of the principals (OK or had a track record as an author). Gonçalo Amaral can make a book deal out of it. The McCanns can make a book deal out of it. Even if I wanted to, I can’t.
I believe that public appetite for Madeleine McCann stories has waned, and those that still sell are fairly short press articles with limited new information but with the opportunity to flog more advertising. A book is at the opposite end of the information spectrum from this.
What I am doing is developing SIL 2. Holmes 2 has artificial intelligence. I have human intelligence. My money is on SIL 2.
PS In the book, I have written an introduction and chapter 1. I am on chapter 2, and guess what, I am already suffering from writer’s block. What I need is a nice little piece of Welsh lamb.