This July marks three years since my first official book deal. It’s put me in rather a philosophical mood. So much has happened in the past three years and, as I begin to plan my fourth novel, I can’t help wondering what the next three will bring.
Coincidentally, I have just started reading a very good friend’s debut called Black Wood, which will be published early 2015. I love to hear good news and when my dear friend, Susi Holliday, announced last week that she has received a publishing deal, I couldn’t have been more delighted for her. Susi writes under ‘S J I Holliday’ and is best known for her dark short stories but I have to say, if the first few chapters are anything to go by, everyone is in for a treat with her wonderful first novel and I wish her much success.
It seems the world of traditional publishing is filled with decisions and announcements. We beaver away on our manuscripts for months, sometimes years on end; send them to trusted beta readers for feedback, rework and submit, then wait the arduous weeks and months it takes for a decision. Will it hit the mark? We are in a subjective business and can never be sure. Finally we get that all important decision and an announcement can be made. If it’s positive, the race is on to turn the pile of paper into a book. If it’s negative, we have to pick ourselves up, rework and try again.
Of course, if you have a multiple book deal you have a little more security and can be assured that your next book is likely to hit the shelves. But is that any better? It certainly comes with a whole different set of pressures. We’ve all read those books, often by authors we love that have lacked a little something. Whether it’s the rush to meet the deadline, contractual obligation or just plain boredom at having written so many, they lack sparkle. They’re rare, I agree, yet they still exist and multiple deal or not, I never want to fall into that category.
Call it nerves but, as I embark on a new project, I always wonder whether I’ll have the heart to write another story. Can I weave another tale of twists and turns that will captivate a reader and make them want to turn the pages? These thoughts weighed heavily on my shoulders as I opened a new document and started to type this week. I penned around 1000 words, sat back and reworked, then read it through. And I was delighted to feel that familiar buzz of excitement as the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. The passion, it seems, is still burning. I wonder where it will take me this time.
On Monday evening I’m joining the Broughton Reading Group to talk about An Unfamiliar Murder. It’s lovely to think that people are still reading the book, almost two and a half years after its publication.
This forthcoming week, I’m sharing my journey to secure a book deal and publish my second book on ‘Diary of a Newbie Novelist – Mark 2’ on www.newbiewriters.com . Do join me over there to share your own experiences.
On the 9.8.14 I will be in Oundle bookshop signing copies of The Truth Will Out. Come and join me for a chat if you are able. Ella has promised to make her famous chocolate chip cookies to celebrate the event, so we are in for a treat.
I hope to be able to share some news on my third book soon. In the meantime, have a wonderful week, all.