.......well, for me it's discipline....and I can only hope more success will follow.
Getting a first novel published when I already had a bus pass in my handbag has been a wonderful feeling, but nothing prepared me for the follow-up.
I used to be a wet-weather writer. If the sun was out then there were always better options to pursue than writing - gardening, or walking, or coffee with friends to name but three. I could catch up with writing in the evening, couldn't I? Except evenings are not my best time for writing......alas .....so that little ruse didn't always work. But no matter - I didn't have deadlines then.
But now I do. When TO TURN FULL CIRCLE began to be put out there on the web it was billed as the first in a trilogy. I had suggested to my publisher, Choc Lit, that my characters could run to a trilogy and that I had, in fact, begun a sequel. Good, they said, we love trilogies. And then to my delight, I read on the Kindle version of my book that the sequel was due out in June 2013.
I think I must have been the only person in the entire country punching the air with delight when it rained day after day after miserable day all through June and into the first half of July! It meant I had no trouble at all getting my bum on the swivel seat, and staying there. And the words piled up very nicely. First draft, you understand - so a way to go yet.
I wrote THE END on the first draft just as the wet spell finished and the sun came out - and then some. It's been a bit phew! here. I could slope off into the garden now, couldn't I? Pull a few weeds and trim a few things early in the morning before the sun got too high and too fierce? But as the keen gardeners amongst us will know, there's no such thing as a few weeds or a few things needing trimming....it's like the Forth Bridge - always just the next bit needing doing.
'I haven't seen you for weeks,' friends wailed. And I began to feel guilty so I met up for coffee or lunch and sometimes both.
And all the while I was aware that while I'd got the plot down and the emotional lead of the sequel down I had work to do - lots of it - getting the historical feel to it; all the little references an historical novel needs so the reader knows it's 1912 and not 2012.
Now, we've all heard about that big name writer who no longer has to write synopses? The same big name writer who gets her settings handed to her/him on a plate? 'We want your next book set in the world of ballet/flying schools/skiing/the diamond industry'. As much as I might dream about it I am a realist and know I'm not going to be one of those writers. And I am not much of a synopsis-writer either. I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer.
But book reviewers and readers - and indeed my publisher - made very loud murmurings about a secondary character in TTFC - we love Matthew, they all said. We do hope he will feature more in the sequel.
He has. But is it enough?
Well...the sun is out now, so I've pulled the curtains so it doesn't lure me out there. I've got a healthy dose of discipline this morning....in fact I think I might be becoming addicted....:)