I'm currently about two-thirds of the way through writing, 'Tanners Dell' - the sequel to 'Father of Lies - and there are three time zones. As I was plotting out the sequence I noticed some reviewers for FOL saying they felt this slowed down the pace and they found it jumpy, so I began to question my technique and eventually came to the conclusion that I'm going to stick with it. Here's why - I like to write 'in the character's head' and therefore project their experience directly into the reader's mind with no middle man. So when it comes to Ruby, who has an identity disorder, my aim is for the reader to know what it feels like for her, and to have a fragmented memory in the exact same way. In addition to that there is a history spanning 50 years to the creepy village of Woodsend, and again this needs to be told in a living way, so it's not flashback or someone else telling the story - it is all designed so the reader lives it large! I could, of course, tell Ruby's history first, but that would actually spoil the main plot. So I have thought about it long and hard and decided that in the long run, the time zone hopping is necessary to bring the story out naturally and at its most direct.
Tanners Dell, as said, has three time zones (two are minor), but there are fewer characters talking to you this time. It will slot together and by the end of the book all - or nearly all (there are some things which just can't be!) - will be explained. I hope to have it out to beta-readers by early April. In summary - well there are all sorts of writing techniques and I have looked at different ways of telling what is a complex story, but in the end I think this way it works best for most people, and I have made sure to keep the points of view in separate chapters along with a clear indication of what time zone we are in. It is challenging and it will take you off the boil here and there...but, and I am an avid reader myself, I still think you get the full picture in a more natural way. Well I hope you are going to like it...it has certainly scared me half to death creating it!
On a lighter note - Father of Lies is now available to order in any bookshop. And I've got a couple of new posters courtesy of Gary Walker at Lok4Books: