As mentioned in a previous post, I was obliged to let Amazon have my final copy of Unhappy Families (Romney and Marsh File #6) well before publication date. That’s now out tomorrow. How time flies.
The book has been available for pre-order for the last ten days. In that time it’s floated in and out of the top 20 in Amazon’s British Detectives chart, which has been encouraging. (It’s just a sub-genre of the crime catalogue so nothing to get too excited about. I’m not ordereding the Range Rover yet.) I noticed that the book broke briefly into Amazon’s top 1000 chart a couple of times. And one time when I looked it was occupying the number one spot for Amazon Hot New Releases in the British Detective chart. That was so thrilling I immediately took a screen shot. (Like you do.)
When R&M #6 was off my hands I had a choice to make: get back to Booker & Cash #3 or get on with editing one of my other finished first drafts. It seemed a bit silly to have first drafts just sitting around waiting attention. They should be moved along the production line as soon as possible so that they can start repaying me my time and effort. (This is my livelihood now.) Besides I write books to be read, not stuck in limbo in drawers.
So I got on with Deep State – Acer Sansom #4. A couple of read-throughs and associated editing and I was happy enough with it to send it off to my gentleman friend. That took about a week.
When I read about how long it can take some writers to write a first draft and then perform their own edits on the manuscript until they are happy enough to let it go up the line I can feel a little… hurried with my own process. (A year or more for some of them!) But I know when I’ve done all I can with a project. And I’m pretty sure that putting it in a cupboard for six months and then taking it out again to look at it with fresh eyes isn’t going to make much difference to me regarding the end product. They’ll still be my eyes.
On that subject, a reader gave me cause to look up another writer who I had heard of but hadn’t appreciated his contribution to literature. John Creasey. Have a guess at how many novels he wrote in his lifetime and then check him out here if you like. Here’s a clue: he wrote using twenty-eight pseudonyms. John_Creasey.
Suddenly I didn’t feel so bad about my own production line timings.
What next? I thought I might as well get on with the last first draft I’ve got in the pipeline, A White-Knuckle Christmas (Romney and Marsh File #7). It’s been cluttering up my writer’s desk with the others, a constant reminder that I have work to do on it.
I have been glad this last week to be involved with Dover CID in a story that takes place in the run up to Christmas. It’s made me feel Christmassy in a time and place where Christmas is not celebrated. Actually, I’m more than a little disappointed not to have written this one a few months before so that it would have been available as a Christmas download. And I’m not just saying that because the charts seems to be awash with Christmas themed books. Four that I can see in the British Detectives top 20. (Did I say awash? Some of you may have noticed that I’m prone to exaggeration.)
I’ve now given that a couple of read-throughs and some editing attention. It needs some more but I need a break from it. Actually, what I need a break from is editing. That’s pretty much three books back to back I’ve edited. It’s mentally exhausting. I couldn’t do it for a living. I’m missing my writing – making stuff up and letting my imagination run away with me.
I think I shall now get back to B&C #3 until Deep State comes back to me. Then it’ll be that interminable formatting process to go through again before releasing it into the wild.
I also want to mention that Making a Killing (Romney and Marsh File #2) had its third birthday this week. Three years it’s been available on Amazon. It currently has 225 reader comments/reviews with a 4.6/5 star rating average on Amazon UK. I’m very happy with that.