Updated: Mar 6, 2022
This blog is about the writing process of a book, my next book, a book that I have just started to write. It is the story of each stage of the process from the initial idea to publication day.
When I wrote my first book 'How to Catch a Mole' I felt that it would be part of a series. I wanted to write three books that were related to each other, not dependent on each other, you could easily read any one of them alone, but I wanted them to relate to each other in a way that only someone who had read all three books would understand.The second book 'Seed to Dust' consolidated the idea of a trilogy and I am at the moment writing the third. I won't tell you the title just yet because we are still in the very early stages and writers get very superstitious about their titles being stolen - I know someone it happened to. Today I am waiting for a telephone call to confirm that the book has indeed been agreed by my publisher, the wonderfully classy Harvill Secker who publish stars like George Orwell and Haruki Murakami. As George Orwell was the first proper writer I ever read, I feel very proud to share a publisher.
I want to take you with me on the journey of writing this book and to be honest I think keeping a process log of it might help me to work out any problems I have along the way. There will be problems, there are always problems. My wife Kate is also a writer and if you go to her pages of this website you'll be able to read about her work which is very different to mine. We are a writing couple, that is one of the things that drew us to each other when we met. Each morning we take to different parts of the house, meeting up for coffee or a break and at the end of the day we talk about how the work is going and try to help each other through any difficulties we are having, it is a creative partnership. If the work is going well, we tend to say little, talking about it can interfere with the process and a good writing streak is so precious that we hang onto it with every ounce of our attention out of fear that the creative genie will disappear. If it is not going well, life can get very fiery!
I imagine there will be periods in this blog where I post nothing for a while, hanging on to the process until it hits the rocks, then I guess I'll be back here. At the moment I am very excited about this new book. I know I can do it. For me, every book starts with a feeling that I want it to have. It has to be beautiful, for me that goes without saying, but beautiful comes in many different flavours. I know what its personality is, I know what it feels like, I can see it in my minds eye, it's shape, layout, the density of the text on the pages. I know the feeling I want the story to create, I know how it begins and ends, I know a few of the islands I want to explore on the way, some of them I know very well, others are new territory and what I will find there is a mystery. There will be periods when I hate it, other periods when I think it is rubbish and I am totally wasting my time and need to find another way of paying the bills.
So if you are interested in taking this bumpy journey with me, please come along, I'd be pleased to have the company! It can be a lonely old business.