In a poetic moment I revisited AA Milne’s Buckingham Palace and wove it into my introduction to my new thriller-heist. Why? Well, that may not become obvious until the final chapter(s). Meanwhile, the protagonist suspects that the king does indeed know all about him! [BTW: my sister is called Robin and I was named Christopher]. And, like Alice, there is ‘time for tea’ in Chapter One for the protagonist, among the rising tension of being followed. Perhaps the obvious connection is that the protagonist is called Sir Christopher.
They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace
Christopher Robin went down with Alice
"Do you think the King knows all about me?"
"Sure to, dear, but it's time for tea" Says Alice
I have just released a revised edition of 3 WISE MEN. No big changes, just a tidy top of some text and grammar to make a more polished read. And a name change for a lead character. Check it out at Amazon. The Kindle version is here.
Update: nice to hear about a couple fighting each other to read my book first. The wife won!
“There’s a statistic that circulates the publishing world that only one in six thousand writers will sign with a literary agent. And only a very small percentage of those will ever get published. So what’s the point in trying?”
Such a relevant question. Why climb Everest? Why row across an ocean? Why be a school principal? Why renovate another house? Why? Why? Why?
I’m going to struggle with a sensible answer, but here goes. I keep trying because I want to reach the greatest audience and I keep trying because I want my heist-thriller to be as polished as possible, which will not happen if I self-publish. Oh, there are many other illogical reasons too :-). Have I felt like giving up? Yes, and even more in recent days. Having a request for my full manuscript created hope to land a literary agent, but this was followed four weeks later by a “No.” After this glimmer of hope it was back to a full re-edit, and chapter reorganisation, before sending out a few more submissions. The recent rise of Artificial Intelligence, and a huge global interest in deep-sea submersibles (with the Titan implosion) should help propel my novel. I’m just waiting for a literary agent to agree.
But, the greatest reason is ‘persistence‘ – never giving up on a higher goal and I hope I am able to reach it soon.
When writing, the plot and characters are uppermost in my mind. It’s a subconscious thing and I find myself thinking about events in my novel while drifting off to sleep, only to have them punctuated by fresh thoughts. These make me force myself awake and make the necessary changes while they are fresh – “I’ll forget them in the morning,” I tell myself. There a catch though. In the morning, have to check that the new thought fits the storyline and doesn’t detract from it or overwhelm it; it has to enhance it to be effective. Ah the joys of ruminating – just going over and over my novel, like cows chewing grass:
The Pitch is a snazzy one liner that sums up a novel’s theme. My pitch changed while editing and my professional editor (ex Penguin Publishing) helped shape it into:
Can Artificial Intelligence topple the global economy or restore financial equality? Depends whose side you’re on…
Perhaps our global issue is not Big Brother organisations, but the machines they are building? Food for literary thought.
It’s poetic how some things work out. After months of editing and revising my manuscript, look how many words it ended up…
Yes, some will say it’s too long for a heist-thriller and others will disagree and say they need detail and back story to really get into a novel. For me, it was just where it ended up and, for that reason, it feels right. My first thriller was finished at around 85,000 words but my new one – with the extra words – does seem to have more depth and purpose. I hope readers agree. Hint: do you want to learn about the role of AI in the greatest bank robbery of all time?
We had ribs tonight—delicious ribs with meat falling off the bone and juices charred rich like treacle. It made me wonder if my book has been cooked long enough to have the same rich flavour? A book that has been slow-cooked, then fried to perfection. Is mine like that? Of course, the answer was “no” a year ago, but now is a simmering “yes.”
Full of flavour? I hope so.
A plot that sticks like a rich sauce? Perhaps.
An ending that leaves a reader full and satisfied? I can’t give that away, can I?
You see, it’s only the reader who can tell me if my book is cooked enough.
I was searching for a birthday card when I came across this encouraging one from Snoopy…it also reminded me of my Dad, who would clack away on his typewriter incessantly as he wrote his short stories and a few novels. Though he struggled much like Snoopy here, his work was published in a major newspaper.