Tag Archives: best selling fiction
Writing for the hell of it

Every cloud has a silver lining, or so they say, which sounds more like a bit of meteorological bullshit to me, but anyway…
With my German publisher Weltbild going rather inconveniently bankrupt I’m faced with some interesting choices. I’m not too worried about Weltbild. It’s a very large company and no doubt it’ll restructure and emerge from the mess in a better state — although there’s a risk they’ll use the insolvency to avoid paying its author royalties for the last 6 months. That might prompt an interesting foul- language post! In the meantime I’m left with writing stuff for fun, just for the hell of it, (which is always the best way to write by the way), because there’s not much point in writing more crime novels for my German readers until I know for sure it’ll ever see the light of day (sorry, German fans, but as I said, I’m sure it’ll all come out in the wash).
I’ve been looking at a few unfinished manuscripts that were curtailed, because no one thought there’d be a market for them. One is another And In The Morning war story and I was surprised to discover I’d written almost 60,000 words before shelving it. The problem was, I think, we believed there’d be a glut of such writing with the 100th anniversary of WW1 on the horizon, but that shouldn’t discourage a good story, right?
The second manuscript is a science fiction/thriller thing that has, as far as I’m concerned, a really unique premise. So unique that, so far, no one else “got” what I was trying to do when I showed around the initial chapters and the consensus of opinion was it would be a waste of time. I’m daunted by the premise myself! I reckon the idea is great, but can I make it work?
Maybe that challenge is exactly what I should be taking on? And after all, I’m not saying for a moment it’s a best-selling, genius idea, but unique books come from unique ideas and if none of us pursued these things and ignored the criticisms, literature would be a pretty bland place.
It’s also true that regardless of all the argument, debate and shit-fighting over the self-publishing industry, it is an option for manuscripts that traditional publishers won’t accept. These days, unwanted novels don’t have to languish in bottom drawers undiscovered.
That war novel is nearly half-finished though. Probably I’ll work on that first. Of course, there’s more than the beginnings of a new John Maiden (from Missing Pieces) crime book on my hard drive. If Weltbild pops up in a new suit and asks for it again, I suppose that’ll have to take priority… Bastards better pay the bills first though!