A Writer Never Sleeps!

Novel #2 in Editing Mode: Such a relief to finish my second novel, which is now in the final editing stages. In summary:

write –> edit –> edit again (another full read through) —> ask trusted (brutally honest) friends to proof-read –> final edit –> seek a Literary Agent (more on that soon).  On a funny note:

The other night I could not get to sleep and tossed and turned, mulling over my second full edit. I realized that I had made a minor continuity error and had to get up to fix it. Phew!

It really is encouraging that my brain is actively working on improvements all the time, even when half asleep! Motto?

A writer never sleeps!

PS: This pic is accurate, but the time is wrong – I was up at 2am.

Write Drunk, Edit Sober

This quote by Ernest Hemingway has an element of truth, although I certainly don’t ‘write drunk’. What rings true for me, though, is that you don’t have to be fully ‘with it’ when getting the rough story down. It might be a matter of grabbing a few minutes between meetings or, in my case, while waiting to teach a class. Some of my better writing seems to happen when I am mulling a plot or ‘what’s next’ while trying to sleep. In this case, I have to put the light on, get up and type the inspiration, just in case I forget when I wake up in the morning.Or, I might overhear a conversation while out and about and need to jot a thought down, ready to take back to my computer to bring into the story. For my second novel, I also set aside regular, early morning times to write. And, in the most part, I have kept to this schedule, even if the word output varies. On a good day I will type up about 800-1200 words and, on a bad day, 400-500. But, even the bad days can be good writing!

However, the editing needs time and concentration, plus a critical analysis of words, sentence structure/length, etc. Therefore, Hemingway is right—it is best done while ‘sober’. Incidentally, Hemingway also has a cameo part in my new novel, when two ladies meet an old man on the Croatian coast in a bar in Dubrovnik—the kind of place that Hemingway would, I am sure, have enjoyed!

New Novel now in Editing Phase

My new novel is now ‘finished’ and what a relief after much travel and months of research. I say ‘finished’ metaphorically since this is only the draft manuscript—a rough version with completed plot. Now I am enjoying the task of reviewing the draft, making corrections and adding/deleting to improve the flow, etc. However, it is quite exciting to be so close to the final copy, and I hope to be finished in about a week. After that, I will have a few people read through and feedback comments. I very much value this part of the process before seeking a publisher, simply because fresh eyes can pick up small errors and suggest improvements that I may have missed. How happy am I with the new book? Hmm, time will tell. However, I can say that I am pleased with the plot. It was quite strange this time to figure out the final chapter when only about one third of the book had been written. Now that the plot has caught up, the last chapter only needed a few added details to make it work well. If you are interested in a peek of this new novel, or would like to add your name to an early release, please drop me a note.

3 Wise Men – Revised Thriller Now on Kindle

Today, 3 Wise Men was released in Kindle again! This is a completely revised version, with an extra 3000 words and, hopefully, more drama and tension. Most chapters had improvements and, in my humble opinion, it is a better read.

Don’t miss this chance to enjoy a great thriller, set in exotic locations in southern France and Italy. Of course, please give feedback as it is taken seriously and helps the next book too. For example, my wife and I had someone join us for dinner last night and our guest was reading 3 WISE MEN but thought a word was not the ‘right’ one. After giving it some thought – lots of thought – after they had gone, I made the change and it fitted better. The formatting was finished by today and the new book uploaded (with my friend’s suggestion) less than 24 hours later. Oh, the delights of self-publishing!

Speaking of the next book, how is it going? I’m pleased you asked. Over Christmas and the New Year, excellent progress was made and I hope to finish the draft version in just a few weeks.

$3.99 is nothing. I will order mine now!

I was having a meeting with a colleague over coffee earlier this week, when the conversation moved onto the subject of ‘reading’. I mentioned that I had just finished my first novel and that it was available on Kindle. My friend got out his phone and quickly looked it up.

“Only $US3.99! That’s nothing – I will order it now.”

I was surprised and delighted that he wanted to read 3 WISE MEN, and even more delighted that he found the price to be so reasonable. But, when I thought about it, it was about the same price as the coffee I had just ordered for him.

I hope you also enjoy reading 3 WISE MEN at less than 1.5c per page!

Author accepted as new member of International Thriller Writers

James Hayden has just been accepted as a new member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Inc. ITW was launched in 2004 by a group of writers who saw the need for a different kind of authors’ group – one dedicated to the celebration of the thriller genre. What emerged was a service organization founded by authors, for the benefit of authors, and run by authors.

ITW is truly “international” with more than four thousand members from around the world whose cumulative book sales total almost three billion copies. There will be more news soon about this great opportunity for James Hayden.

“I need painkillers and more rest.”

“My stupid head!” he thought. “I need painkillers and more rest.”

You would too, after going through what Jak did! No wonder his decision-making soon get blurred after his flight leaves Rome, heading for his meeting in Milan.

Italy is a rugged country, with a spine of mountains reaching out of The Alps like the arm of an octopus. These peaks – known as The Apennines – can play havoc with weather patterns over Italy – as Jak soon finds out.

Read more in 3 WISE MEN.

Could it be The Vatican?

“Who do you represent?” I asked him.
“That was a good question, Pierre. Did you find out?”
“He said it did not concern me. I asked him if it was the church.”

David was even more curious, “And?”

“The priest said I should ask no more questions, but that he represented sovereign monarchy—one who had absolute power. Well, it got me thinking. Who has that kind of unfettered control?”

David looked puzzled and asked,  “Who, indeed?”

“Yes, an absolute power who would not give up their secrets or allow anyone to steal or copy them. I wondered if he meant the Vatican, but was too scared to ask. Who else could it be? Then he told me to stop all my research in Florence. His exact words were, ‘Halt all investigations if you value your life.’”

The extract above is from 3 WISE MEN and suggests that other groups are also after Jak’s secret formula. But, who are these religious zealots? Does the priest indeed represent The Vatican – a state that has absolute power and doesn’t want it to be lost to meddling researchers like Jak and his friends? Read 3 WISE MEN to read more about this mysterious and unexpected meeting.

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