Hello my Freaky Darlings,
It’s been a long journey from conception to publication. Requiem was actually the first book I wrote, way back in 2002. I started working on it while on a writing course. The idea for the story came to me while driving in the car with my mother, luckily she was driving. I looked over at her and said, “I think I’ve got an idea for a book.” I grabbed a pen and note pad out of my bag and jotted down the idea about a serial killer who had some serious Mommy issues. After I told my mother about the idea, she raised an eyebrow and asked me if I was trying to tell her something.
After the course came to an end, the other students and I formed a writing group and we got together once a month to critique each others work. I have to admit that having people tear into it while I was still writing the first draft didn’t really work for me. Stephen King had a point when he said, “Write with the door closed. Re-write with it open”. As a result of having all these conflicting voices having a say on the direction the book was taking, made it feel like it wasn’t really my book any more. It was also exhausting having to fight for my own vision of the story. As a result, once I’d finished it, I just tossed it into a box to collect dust and started work on Shadows.
After Shadows was published and had already been out for a while, friend and editor, Jayne Southern convinced me to dust it off and have another look at it. My brother, who had been one of the few people to read it after I’d finished it, had said that it was better than a lot of the other shit he’d read, so with that in mind Jayne and I got to work on editing it. Jayne had to drag me kicking and screaming through the editing process. There were probably moments where she would happily have throttled me, but she persevered and Requiem in E Sharp turned into a book that I can be proud of. Is it perfect? Not by a long shot. But if it were perfect my writing career would probably be over. How do you carry on writing, and learning, and working on your craft when you’ve already written the perfect novel?
But anyway … Once it was finished it came time to find a publisher for it. I’d just left Rebel e Publishers and was feeling just a tad despondent, but I sucked it up and sent it off to a couple South African publishers. I got a wonderful rejection email from Pan MacMillan, which did leave me feeling a little frustrated, but it did give me a glimmer of hope that it wasn’t a complete waste of time. It was then accepted by one publisher, who then buggered me around, which was annoying to say the least. Unfortunately the road to publication is hardly ever smooth. But then the wonderful Adele Wearing decided to come to my rescue when she started Fox Spirit. Working with her in getting Requiem in E Sharp published has been an absolute dream. Now we’re busy working on getting my novella, Oasis, out later this month.
In other news. Bloody Parchment: Hidden Things, Lost Things and other Stories, an anthology containing my short story Death Express was released on Friday! You can download it from Amazon.com.