The One That Got Away Update

January 18, 2023
JD Kirk

First of all, apologies for being a bit quiet here, on social media, and in the JD Kirk VIP Club newsletters recently. Due to a veritable clusterfuck of family health issues, the Christmas period was significantly busier and more stressful than it might otherwise have been, and I’ve fallen behind on… well, pretty much everything.

Except writing.

I’ve written more than ever, in fact, because I find writing to be the ultimate stress destroyer. Having a bad day? Just create a fictional character and kill them off. Stressed out over the state of the world? Create an evil villain to be defeated by the forces of good.

The result is that, over the past 33 straight days (yes, that even includes Christmas Day), I wrote the entirety of The One That Got Away, the first DI Heather Filson novel.

I use a website called Pacemaker.Press to track my daily, weekly, and monthly word counts. It allows you to set a word count and a finish date, and then calculates how many words you need to write each day to hit that target. You can fiddle with it to block out weekends, holidays, etc, so it’s very flexible, and highly recommended if you’re thinking of writing a book of your own.

Originally, I expected this book to be around 80,000 words long, which is roughly the average length of my DCI Logan series, although slightly on the lower end of the scale. Over the course of writing it, though, I had to adjust my word count target, because I realised the book was going to be longer than expected. I set it to 95,000, with a view to be finished by the end of January.

Instead, thanks to a particularly fruitful last few days, It’s 100,000 words long, and I finished it yesterday. In case you’re interested to see what the daily targets and word counts looked like, you should be able to see a nice graph below.

If the graph isn’t showing up, or if you just want to see a bit more information, click here.

The first draft, of course, isn’t the end of the process. Now, I’ll take a few days to read over the manuscript, before sending it goes through the various stages of the editing process. Only then, once all the plot holes have been sewn up, and most of the typos squashed (there’s always bloody one) will it be ready to send off to the printers and the audiobook producer.

I was a little worried when I started this book that it might just turn out to be another DCI Logan novel, albeit without DCI Logan in it. Thankfully, it quickly became clear that this book was very much its own thing. It doesn’t have the insane OTT violence of Hoon, and it’s not exactly a police procedural, like the Logan series. Instead it dips into psychological thriller, and it’s probably the darkest book I’ve written.

It might also be the best book I’ve ever written. But I’ll let readers decide that for themselves.

It’s not just dark, though. It’s funny, too, I hope. It’s rare that I laugh at the stuff I’m writing, but there were a couple of scenes in this book that literally made me laugh out loud when they popped into my head. Heather, too, has more of a sense of humour than I previously gave her credit for.

The book isn’t set in the Highlands, but it’s firmly tangled up in the growing DCI Logan Universe. Several characters from the Logan series, both major and minor, make appearances, while several new ones are introduced.

I really hope you’ll give Heather a chance to impress when The One That Got Away is published in May.

But for now, I’d best go get back to editing. Before I go, here’s a little trailer for the book to whet your appetite.



  1. Linda

    Can’t wait for this book to be published.

    • Chrissie

      I can’t wait to read this, very excited to have another lead character!

    • Simon

      Let us know when it can be pre – ordered!

      • Pauline Melville

        Yep, I’m in. Will be purchasing, looking forward to another fab read.

        • Irene

          So looking forward to this one, I’m sure it will be a cracker as always x

    • Valerie Skedge

      Sorry to hear your family were poorly hope they are better now.
      I’ll definitely read your new book.
      I love your writing style and the way your characters become familiar friends.
      I read as a stress relief as I work for an Edge of care service [ children safeguarding] so loads of stress lol.
      Your story lines are gritty but real and I love that. The characters become real and I’m always left wanting more. I’m sure that’s got to be good.
      So new book with new characters are just new friends waiting to be made.
      Can’t wait. Hope you’ve started number two because we’ll be expecting it lol 😆.
      Good luck 👍

      • Jackie

        I love a psychological thriller and I definitely will be pre-ordering this one! Thank you for your writing, which gives me so much pleasure!

    • Margaret Gilhooly

      Looking forward to it !!

  2. Christine Otto

    Looking forward to reading this.

    • Julie Carrick

      Oooh very excited to read this.
      I hope all is well with your family now.

    • Mrs anne henderson

      Not usually into psychological books but will give it a try just because it’s jd kirk lol

    • Angela Squires

      Looking forward to this. Please tell me Angus King will be narrating.

    • Tania

      I am addicted to your writing and have been experiencing serious withdrawal symptoms since closing the page on Hoon’s recent adventure in the Eastgate shopping centre. I currently have half a dozen other books on the go in a desperate attempt to find one that will grip me… I am failing in that quest miserably. But you are back soon, and not with just one book, but two! Although even the end of February seems like a century away! I do hope your loved ones are now fully recovered.

  3. Pauline lillicrap

    Can’t wait all your books are excellent

  4. Lynn

    Ooooh can’t wait for this looks spooky and different which I’m all in favour of. Sure it will be another good seller jd so fingers crossed.

    • Kate

      Really can’t wait for this new character to come into our lives. Absolutely love all your books & I’m more than sure this new series (🤞) will also hit the spot. Well done JD, you’re a star!

  5. Debby

    I love that you share your writing process with us! Can’t wait for your next book!

  6. Graham

    On book 4 of Robert hoon.. i need more please, Also is there anyway I can purchase dci Logan books 7-12 in a box set, im finding it impossible.

  7. Jeannette Throneberry

    So sorry for your family’s bout of health issues – hope those are sorted now. We readers are so glad writing is a stress relief for you! 😊

  8. Carol Obrien

    Looking forward to this very much.

  9. Chris Scotland

    Well done for persevering, with all that going on. Ebook ordered, as on my remote island on publication day; print copy in due course to add to the collection!

  10. Andrew Burns

    Looking forward to listening to this one, keep up the great work.

  11. Lucy Goddard

    Looking forward to getting this on Audible. Will it be a different narrator from Logan and Hoon?

  12. Vanetia Higgins

    Oh golly, I already lol at Logan and Hoon. My other half knows when I’m reading one of your books! Can’t wait xx

  13. Katrina

    I love all of your books and this one looks really interesting as in scary, spooky and cannot wait to read it. Hope all your family’s health has improved.

  14. Morag Barrie

    Ooh! Looks very intriguing! Can’t wait for the launch! Hope you and your lovely family are all free of the pesky bugs now! X

  15. Katie Squires

    wow that is pretty impressive going. I was actually wondering just an hour ago if Author’s find writing abit like therapy because I’m sure readers find reading therapeutic and when i do my art its kind of the same for me. I sent you a message on the contact form, haven’t had a reply yet which is fine I’m not complaining but wondered if you actually received it? our Christmas was pretty much the same with shitty health news from family and a last minute 13 hour drive to England the day after boxing day to see family just out of hospital. congratulations on the book it looks amazing, cant wait to read it.

    • JD Kirk

      Got it, just replied!

      • Irene

        So looking forward to this one, I’m sure it will be a cracker as always x

      • Julie Pryke

        Looking forward to this.almost finished Logan 3 and reckon that ‘ The One That Got Away’ will be good timing for when I’ve finished them and I’m started on the Hoon books.
        BTW thanks for the Caroline O’Hearne neighbours outside KC’S house – I needed them and really laughed at the idea.

  16. Louise Saunders

    Your writing output is astounding and you never short-change us!

  17. Sturt

    Sounds like another killer book! Can’t wait to read/listen to it.

    Do you have somebody in mind for the narration? Somebody that brings the same drama as the great Angus King?

    I’m all up to date on Logan and Hoon so need more.

    Hope the family are all good though now. That’s the most important.

  18. Jeanne

    Here’s hoping 2023 is a better year health-wise for your family. Congrats on finishing this book in record time! I’m glad you didn’t skip the humor – the dark humor is kind of your thing, and it’s what gets us through the tough times, right?

  19. Lynne

    So, so looking forward to this!

  20. Michelle Grant

    God I’m dying to read/hear this

  21. kathy Jones

    Looking forward it this one. Was not a fan of Heather, but I’m becoming convinced with every post! Can we assume that Angus King will narrate?

  22. Olive Dobson

    Cannot wait to read it , I have it on order 😊

  23. Mark Quinn

    Aw cannot wait for this 🙏🏻🙏🏻👏👏

  24. anne Walker

    Can’t wait

    • Sheri Smith

      Hi glad family health worries are over for now! Looking forward to your new characters – The others are my best friends especially Hoon!! My friends that I have introduced love them too X excited to tell them of the new book ! A sincere thank you for brightening my world x

  25. Kacy

    Shut up and take my money!

  26. helen butler

    Sorry you all have been unwell, hope all is well now. Looking forward to this new book,looks really scary.

  27. Jo-Anne Quinn

    Looks intriguing and I am waiting patiently for this to entrance me.

  28. SJ

    Love that you are building a DCI Logan ‘universe’…very cool idea.

  29. Kate Atkinson Jones

    That should be in my Audible library ready for my cruise to Iceland in Jine, although I may have to listen before I go!
    I typed a message to you earlier but it vanished and I’m not sure if I sent it or it I just lost it!
    Just wanted to say that now I know your “secret” I can hardly believe that the good looking pleasant guy who writes adorable books for children and goes by the name of Barry, is actually the same guy who writes gritty stories of murder and mayhem with a generous dollop of swearing (😆)under the name of JD Kirk!J
    Or is it actually Fiona that does those? ❤

  30. Fiona Quint

    I was grumpy with Heather then absolutely loved her, what a fabulous character! Can’t wait to read her own book. Hope she stays friends with Sinead

  31. Jen

    I absolutely love all of your work! I started as a TST diehard and now I’m completely hooked on the Logan/Hoon stuff. I have replayed every single book on Audible when waiting for the next and I’m so grateful that you are swift with your writing. Thank you for bringing me so much joy with every book. Will Angus King be performing the Filson books? He’s amazing, as is Phil Thron. They really bring the characters to life in my imagination. I’m hoping to travel across the pond to the highlands someday, and see all the places I’ve read about. You are the bomb diggity!


    Sounds interesting. Sorry to hear family illness and hope are all well.
    Looking forward to book but will miss Hoon and that Logan book will be coming soon.
    Keep writing

  33. Anne Armstrong

    Sorry to hear about your family illness but glad all is well now. I’m warming to Heather so I really look forward to getting to know her better. I’m really enjoying the Logan books and love Tyler, whose antics often make me laugh out loud. Thank you xx

  34. Davina MacLeod

    Having read every DCI Logan book and waiting for the next to arrive in my Kindle, I will definitely be getting this new one.

    Thanks for the great reads, as someone else said, your characters become friends that I look forward to catching up with in each new book.

    Hope the family illnesses are far away now and life is back to a normal rhythm.

    • David Walford

      I love the Logan series, especially for the characters around him. I hope they’ll continue. And yes, I loved the four Hoon books. But I’m so looking forward to this new book too. And Bob and Berta’s cooking? Wow! Thanks for everything you write.

  35. Ann

    Not usually into psychological thrillers, but will certainly give this one a go. So pleased Hoon has been laid to rest!!

  36. Ang

    Love the Logan books, and I’ll be watching out for this one, too.
    Sorry you and your family had health issues, glad you’re all doing better now.

  37. Sheena Baxter

    I’m hooked already Barry,will give it a go !!

  38. Alison

    Oh, Lord! Not sure I can cope with a psychological thriller. As long as your sense of humour prevails I guess I’ll cope as I’ve pre-ordered my copy…

  39. Alison

    Oh, Lord! Not sure I can cope with a psychological thriller. As long as your sense of humour prevails I guess I’ll cope as I’ve pre-ordered my copy…