Sunday, 26 February 2017

Latest article in Writing Magazine

An Eye to the Future

My 'Beginners' page in the March edition of Writing Magazine is to remind writers that there's a future out there, not just the present. (I'm writing from experience, as I know all-too well that in the white-hot heat of creativity - or the daily slog that it can sometimes seem - we tend to forget that we're putting something out there that will last a while, if we're lucky).

Books used to be short-lived; on the shelf one minute, gone the next, and all that was left was for the author to get working on another one to keep the interest alive unless they wanted to fade into obscurity and make starving in a garret a reality.

Publishers needed a turnover to keep going, and that included pushing authors to write more if only to stimulate the market (something some publishers are still surprisingly not very good at).

The advent of ebooks, of course, and self-publishing, has changed all that, and put some of the control into the authors' hands. Content, once written and printed, is no longer static; book covers can be changed at the click of a keyboard; links can be included to stimulate a reader's interest; even prices can be played with as never before.

It's changing fast, and writers need to get their eyes off the keyboard once in a while and see the future. Because it's right here.

Earlier 'Beginners' articles have now been gathered in a book - 'Write On! - The Writer's Help Book' courtesy of Writing Magazine. Available as ebook or p/b here.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Behind the story

Ask most people about the job they do and it's not unusual to find that they can wax lyrical about it. That's certainly the impression writers get when we approach professionals, whether police, army, emergency services or any others, to find out a bit about the nuts and bolts of their particular professions. They're only too keen to talk about it.

Occasionally the tables are turned and writers get asked to chip in with some background about the project they're working on. We are, of course, shy retiring types (mostly), but there aren't many of us too backward about coming forward when given the opportunity.

When Midnight Ink, my US publishers, kindly asked me to guest blog about the Gonzales & Vaslik series ('The Locker' - Jan 2016 and 'The Bid' - Jan 2017), I was only too happy to comply. To be fair, it is about the books without giving away any spoilers, and not so much my writing life. But if you're interested, you can find the full blog here.