The thing I’ve found oddest about releasing a book is getting used to the gap between actually finishing the draft, and releasing the book in its final, finished state, out into the wild. Of course, the draft is just that – a first pass at the text, ready to be bashed into a more amenable shape with hammers and blowtorch, but even so, that rush of satisfaction from reaching “the end” still feels like a long time ago by the time you actually have the text as you want it. And then, you need to get everything else in place – things like the cover, which, if I was a more confident or organised person, I might have commissioned as I was writing. But, I think there’s an element of superstition involved, as it seems a bit presumptuous to have a cover for a thing you haven’t actually written yet. All in all, though, this is just a roundabout, waffly way of me telling you that my second book, THE UNBURIED DEAD is out now!
My first book, NO SAFE PLACE, taught me one important lesson – I could finish. I had it in me, despite my doubts, to write a beginning, middle and end, and then actually push it over the line to get released. THE UNBURIED DEAD has reassured me that I can do this, now. The story sprang up quickly – before I knew it, I was a third of the way through, the words coming easily, without very much forethought or planning. The words came so readily, that there was nothing to do but see where they took me.
I think I write by focussing on images or scenes as waypoints, then finding a story to wind its way from one to the other. That’s certainly how I wrote NO SAFE PLACE. THE UNBURIED DEAD, however, was more linear – “where next?” – with the story searching out for the next step, rather than me having a clear idea of stops on the way, other than the conclusion. This is my jazz album. Or something. My third book, which I’ve just started, seems to be behaving more like the first – strong images and ideas, and me just pushing the story this way and that, so we can get to those checkpoints.
It’s such a good feeling to share a book with people – it’s been unexpected but incredibly fulfilling when people say they like what they have read. I hope people enjoy THE UNBURIED DEAD. I enjoyed spending time with those characters again. Let me know what you thought of it, if you are kind enough to read it, and please consider leaving a review. Reviews, in this algorithmical age, matter a great deal, and a couple of clicks will make this old fool a happy man.