Showing posts from October, 2021

Publish and be Damned: Magnus I Becomes Where The Shadows Lie

  Writing a novel is all very well, but at some point it has to be let out into the world to take its chances. My agent Carole Blake and I had agreed that her assistant Oli would act for me on this one.   I would be one of his first clients. But he had to like the book.   He read it. He liked it. Together, we came up with a plan. Oli sent the manuscript out. I was nervous. Extremely nervous. Submitting the manuscript It takes a while for publishers to respond to submissions, even when supplied by an agent, but I received a couple of quick rejections of the ‘not one for us’ variety. That’s better than the ‘this book is a load of old crap’ variety. I tried not to panic. I told myself that if a publisher was going to say yes, they would take their time to get back: the manuscript would have to be shown round to colleagues; sales and marketing would need to be convinced. But, frankly, the waiting was difficult. What the hell would  I do if they all said ‘no’? There was no Plan D. They did

Writing Magnus I: Tap Tap Tap

  Writing Magnus I was a lot of fun. I liked Magnus, and it was good to know that we were just getting acquainted; in my previous novels, my heroes, as I naively persist in calling them – protagonist is just too analytical even for me – had come and gone. I hoped Magnus and I would be together for a while. And it was fun to write about Iceland. When the writing is going really well, I feel that I am actually there, on the streets of Reykjavík or the slopes of Mount Hekla. Research File I had my photographs of Iceland to refer to, and my notes. Lots of notes. I had spent a week cutting and pasting notes from all my reading and my trip into a Word document, sorted under headings like ‘Bars’, ‘Thingvellir’, ‘Police procedure’, ‘The Tjörnin’. In the ten years and four novels since Magnus I, this document has become massive, over four hundred pages. But it definitely helps when writing a novel. Or even a blog. The Quarterly Review When writing my eighth financial thriller, I came up with