As an author I am riddled with self-doubt. I think I like what I write. And a good number of you have gone out of your way to tell me that you like what I write. And the reviews are mostly good.
When I’m writing the Sam Green books, I work tirelessly at getting the sense of what I’m trying to convey into the right words. I rework sentences – change words. Reread what I have written. Rewrite some of it. And then, leave it for an hour or two, and reread it again – I call that a ‘trash edit’, to make what was just a series of words into something recognisable. I wake up in the middle of the night and rewrite stuff in my head; and, at this point, I get some real flashes of inspiration about the future plot. And when this is all done, hopefully towards the end of the year, there are a still huge number of further edits, three beta readers for a gross check, and then two professional proofreads to come. But the trash editing is something I do as I go along.
What am I saying? I give it everything.
On the way back to Bristol today, with C’s help, I pulled together what I think is a fab plot for book 5. I had much of it, but I was still struggling with the middle and the end – and how it comes together. But I’m there now. And I am sooooo excited, I just want to write. It’s different … oooh. Where’s my laptop?
And, you know what, still I’m not sure. Still doubting.
Here’s one reason why.
All of a sudden and compound the misery, something like The Bodyguard comes along (BBC1 – a must watch thriller). It’s v Sam Greenesque, the lead character (Richard Madden, the bodyguard, protecting the brilliant and ever-so sexy Keely Hawes, playing the Home Secretary), is ex-Army, post Afghanistan with PTSD. Does this sound familiar? OK, so it’s a bloke, but come on. OK, so it’s UK-based and revolves around MI5, not MI6, but it’s quite similar. And the action scenes are terrific and the tension is fab. OK, so the plot takes some believing – last night he ended up in a face-off with a pal of his who had been trying to shoot the lovely – but it’s all great stuff.
So, here I am. Writing my heart out on a series of books that is currently selling at around 2/3 a day, and someone has put together an excellent 6-part TV show, something I will never get round to doing, using what I consider to be my small part of the thriller genre.
But, you now what? I woke up to 2 five-star reviews this morning on Amazon, and I can’t tell you how excited I am writing book 5. It’s different again, but v Sam Green.
So, as they say, write the book you want to read. That’s what I’m going to do.
Come on Roland … get to it!
For the record, I started writing this on the ferry home. We’ve had a slow couple of days. Stopping off at R&C’s in Dover to pick up some of Bex and Steven’s stuff we left there (thanks R&C), and yesterday we bought enough wine to drown my writing sorrows. Good – must get on with that. That is, writing and wine.