I had to do a quick scan back through my entries here to see when it was I finished the draft of book 4, which as of this time is called Cut and Run (in the Uk at least) and was kind of stunned to find that I finished - and I use that term ever so lightly - book 4 on 18th June 2009.
What I neglected to say at the time, but expounded upon within the comments was that the work obviously does not end there. Edits, line edits, proof edits etc follow, but in the meantime I've knuckled down, got my butt in gear and got stuck into Joe Hunter 5. Now, I don't want to give anything away about this one yet, for two reasons, mainly I haven't shown it to my agent or editor yet. But anyway, the point is, I just tapped out the last few words of the rough draft a couple hours ago. It's only eleven weeks since I delivered book 4 for gawds sake! So why does it feel like I've been writing non-stop for ages and ages?
Here's the only answer I can come up with (actually a number of answers but they all roll into one). First, I have been here there and everywhere promoting my writing and trying to sell my first published book. Second, I've been doing interviews and articles here there and everywhere. Third, I've been up-dating all the other sites I'm a member of, including TKnC, Arrowsake Alumni, Joe Hunter's Fixers, ITW Debut Authors, CrimeSpace (you can find links to all of these on the sidebar), as well as keeping my website up to date. Fourth, I've been writing the odd short story now and again (look under Vallon Jackson over at TKnC). Fifth, I've been reading lots of books. Sixth, I've been answering lots of emails. Seventh, I've been offering advice to aspiring authors. Eighth, I've been reading an MS and supplying a blurb. Ninth, I've been doing my family-man bit. Tenth, I've been watching too many paranormal TV programmes (have I told anyone I'm in love with these programmes. Before you think I'm totally soft in the head I am an open-minded sceptic and don't believe everything I see).
In between all of the above I have managed to rattle off 95,000 words of book five. I'm not bragging, just telling you how it is. I think it feels like I've been writing this book forever because of all the other things I've been doing alongside it. Eleven weeks! Still can't get my head around that.
I have to admit to having found writing this book different. In this one I wanted to flesh Hunter out as a character more, so I have taken a different approach to writing it. 3rd person instead of 1st, so I could delve deeper into Hunter without it all sounding like a constant monologue. Don't know if this is how the book will end up, but it was very different and interesting approaching the tale from a different POV.
Then there was THE GLITCH. Now, not many people know this, but I had this huge scene all worked out as the big finale, but then I read a book by my good friend Sean Black, who had written a very similar scene in his debut novel LOCKDOWN. I won't say anything else in case you haven't read Sean's book yet, but it was a case of Oh, Drat! Or words to that effect. Purely coincidental it was, and our scenes were different enough, but I didn't want people pointing the finger of accusation at me or calling me a copy-cat. A couple of friends, namely Col Bury and Sheila Quigley, both helped me, massaged my bumps (metaphorically speaking, I may add) and put me back on track. Believe it or not, but I'm pleased now that THE GLITCH came up, because without a doubt, by rethinking my novel, I believe it is far better than originally I planned.
Footnote: even though it's not at the foot.
Some people shy away from reading books in the same genre as they're writing. I'm pleased I did, otherwise I wouldn't have known how alike the scenes both Sean and I envisioned were and would have carried on as happy as a sand boy only for people to say, Hey, ain't that similar to that Sean Black bloke's book? (try saying that five times quickly)
Footnote 2: Even though its still not at the foot.
Hey, Sean, if you read this, if mine ends up as good as Lockdown, I'll be a very happy bunny. Great book, mate.
Anyway, back to what I was blathering on with. THE GLITCH set me back, but only for a short while. I still used the scene but moved it earlier in the narrative - but with a different location and end result. This then gave me a new twist or spin or direction on the story line and off I went.
OK, so I'm meandering now.
The point of this blog, as ever, is to inform aspiring writers of the process along the way. It's not easy. You lose time, conversely time drags, you sometimes go nuts with frustration, then giddy with excitement, but it's all such a great buzz that it's all worth it.
Keep on keeping on, folks.