Ideas come from a variety of places, such as newspapers, television programmes and conversations with friends. In the case of One Last Lesson, it came to me when I took my daughter for a walk near a golf course in Horsham, West Sussex. Often, what starts out as a good idea gets discarded along the way as it can’t be developed any further or it’s not interesting enough to occupy a whole book, and then it may be discarded or parts of it incorporated into another book. If the idea is a good one, I like to mull it over for a few days and then write it out as a one-page summary, before filing it away to be developed in more detail sometime in the future.
The process of producing a book is only partly about the writing as it also involves researching, planning, writing, editing and editing again until the finished article is as perfect as it can be. The writing process can take anything from three to six months and the other aspects mentioned can add another fifty per cent to that time.
The new book will be called, Fear the Silence. A missing woman doesn’t rock DI Henderson’s boat, but then it is former model ‘Kelly’ and press interest is off the scale. Her husband soon falls under suspicion, in part due to his rough manner and an attitude that suggests he loves his business more than he does his wife. He is arrested but Henderson has doubts, especially when another woman goes missing in similar circumstances. The man he now seeks will be hard to find as he is evil and cunning, but strangely unexceptional.
Available July 1 2015.
Seeing the finished book – although is a book really finished? There’s always something that could be improved by altering, adding or deleting.
Lots of it, is the short answer, as I would find it very hard to write about a place I have never visited. DI Henderson lives and works in Brighton, a place where I lived and worked for over ten years and a place I visit regularly. In addition, I know Sussex well and generally have a good idea where a book will be set and then with a mixture of Google maps and visiting the location, I usually have all the information I need.
Lack of inspiration. I haven’t yet suffered from ‘writers block’ and hope I never will, but it can be soul destroying to face a blank heading with nothing written underneath. By planning the layout of a book in advance, this sort of situation is minimised but planning can only take you so far as characters, situations and events have a habit of altering course you originally plotted.