There always felt something a little fraudulent about this blog, its title somewhat arrogant, a claim unsupported by a publishing track-record – a short story collection aside. My aim was to give an insight into process, a glimpse of a journey, its highs and lows, as the book took shape, so perhaps How to Write a Novel? would have been more apposite.
But now I’m delighted to say (following a call from my agent that began with the title of this piece) I’ve just agreed a two-book deal with a major publisher. We met last month, discussed some editorial tweaks, plus The Next Book, and here we are. The next bit, I suppose, is the fun bit: seeing the book come together, a cover designed, countdown to the launch. And Book Two is taking shape nicely, consuming both waking and non-waking hours. The publisher brings out a great mix of commercial and literary fiction, and apparently my book spans the two. It’s been termed both a psychological thriller and Book Group fiction – insider term for novels that appear on those TV shows.
I wanted to briefly mention two-book deals (whether to accept or decline), which to non-writer folk must appear a no-brainer. Friend and author Vanessa Gebbie makes a compelling case for declining such an offer. For me, though, the two-book deal made sense, the reasons legion.
I’ll talk about these a little in the coming months, but mostly I want to share the next part of the journey with you, the stage we all dream of when first we sit down, alone, confused, full of bravado and naivety, in front of a blank screen / page, with the absurd notion we might have a story in us that someone else would want to read.
And so I'll let you know how the next bit goes. For now, though, it’s a glass or two of something.