So Cranthorpe have asked me to talk about myself! Just so that you know before we start – this is not my happy place! It’s quite odd isn’t it – talking about yourself? Apart from ‘How are you?’ and the only expected and acceptable response of ‘I’m fine, thanks,’ nobody really asks you to talk about yourself, not in England anyway where we’re not that big on therapy. Except I suppose in a job interview which I find so stressful that I could actually forget my own name! Anyway I’ve got this – here goes!
I have just written and Cranthorpe Millner have just published my first book. ‘The Stones’ is a suspense crime novel that took me 6 months to write – I’ve since come to understand that is pretty quick! I enjoyed the process of writing the book much more than I imagined I would do and now, post my first book, there is nothing that I would rather be than a writer, full time, forever! I’ve never before had a job that I felt like that about.
When I initially contemplated whether or not I could actually write a book I had thought that in all probability I could not. I’m a practical kind of person and I imagined that I might actually get lost in the plot, or find it difficult to develop believable characters, or that I might simply become bored with my own writing. To my relief none of these things happened and once I had stopped putting obstacles in my way I actually enjoyed the process of writing ‘The Stones.’ I also felt a huge sense of achievement that I had managed to accomplish this whilst holding down a stressful job and maintaining a very busy lifestyle (it was written pre-lockdown).
Reading a book is like opening a door into another world and writing a book is the same, but even better because you get to design and create that world and you are in control of everything that happens there. This year, when we have all lost control of so many things that we had previously taken for granted – the freedom to go where we want whenever we want, and the privilege of seeing our family and friends any time that we want to, has enticed me even further into a world where I do have some control. I am increasingly grateful for the escape that writing has provided for me during a very challenging year.
Now that I have a book in print I am asked all the time about the actual process of writing a book and how is it possible to have all of those characters, locations, plots and subplots existing inside my head? I think about it like driving through the night from Lincolnshire to Scotland – a journey that I’ve undertaken many times. I can only ever see that which is immediately in front of me as everything else is shrouded in darkness, but if I keep going for long enough I know that I will get to the end. Writing a book is a journey and you can never be sure at the outset exactly what you will encounter along the way but if you plan it, take good care over it and keep going, then you will reach your destination.
The more observant among you will have noticed that I didn’t really talk about myself at all but that’s okay – ‘I’m fine, thanks!’
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