I can't believe it has been so long since I have had the chance, or should I say the time, to write here. Where have the weeks gone? Blink and you miss them. It seems crazy to say I am more busy now the book is complete than when I was actually writing it but it's true and there are a number of good reasons for this.
The first is a condition one of my writer friends describes as 'Death by Proofs'. This is the process where a writer and the publisher's readers and copy editors go through the entire manuscript with a fine tooth comb, looking for mistakes then correcting them before publication. Then they do it again and again and again. More than anybody, I want the final version of 'The Drop' to be as perfect as I can make it. The published version will be out there on offer to a wide readership and I don't want any embarrassing errors. However, I have now lost count of the number of times I have read the blooming thing from beginning to end and I think it is true to say that sometimes you can get a bit too close to your own work. So much so that you can no longer see the wood for the trees and you just want the whole painful process to be over. We eventually concluded the 'Final, final, final version' of 'The Drop' last week and I sent it off for publication late one evening. The next day I felt like I'd been liberated. Now I can look forward to the day when the completed book finally drops through my letter box.
It hasn't all been tedious proof reading however. This being-a-writer lark can be a lot of fun. I've done a couple of interviews already; for 'Crime Time' magazine and 'Writing' Magazine, who profiled me as a 'new author' that could give tips to other budding writers. At first I felt like a bit of a phoney. What advice could I possibly offer other people I wondered? Then I realised that I had indeed 'made it' in their eyes. I am not being flash here and I certainly don't mean 'made it' in the rich and famous sense, but more that I had somehow managed to overcome the very long odds against being published. Once I'd realised that, the tips were easier to come up with. For the record, they included getting an agent, which isn't easy, and a far simpler one of watching less TV. Most people could write a trilogy in the time they spend viewing soaps and reality Telly.
With 'The Drop's publication date fast approaching, I have signed up for a bunch of events to go out and tell the world all about my book. Waterstones will be holding a launch even in
Newcastle and the Metro Centre and I'll be signing 'The Drop' in the St Albans branch. I'm really looking forward to 'Bookstock' in London and 'Crimefest' in and we are going to have a little party in Welwyn to celebrate the launch itself. After all, you only get to be a debut author once, so it's worthy of commemoration and there a lot of people I want to thank on the night. This will be the perfect excuse to buy them all a drink. Bristol
There is a full list of my events on the link to my publisher's web site below. If you are in the area pop along and say hello.