It has been over seven years since I published The Murder Tree. At that time I had no plans for writing another novel. This was a one-off, an outlet for a story that had been nagging away at my brain for years. That might have been my one and only attempt at fiction, especially as the next project on my To Do List was a non-fiction piece from my own family history. But the reaction from readers of The Murder Tree was so warm that I knew a second novel deserved serious consideration.
So, here it is.
Right now, The Titanic Document is only weeks away from publication. In this post I want to explain a little about the process of bringing my second novel to print, and over the intervening period I will tell you more about the story itself.
But first, why has it taken so long?
The simple answer is: I write slowly! Every writer has his or her own methods. Some (like me) need time for ideas to formulate, and have distractions in their lives that often pull them away from the keyboard. Sometimes that link between brain and fingers NEEDS to be broken to preserve a semblance of normality (or avoid domestic strife). Others apply themselves every day, treating their writing hours like a job and being supremely disciplined about it. L J Ross is an independent author at the top of the Amazon rankings who regularly trots out several books per year. That works for her, but a conveyor belt mentality would never do for me. I prefer to treat my work as a craft proceeding at its own pace. Then there’s another element I feel that separates my style from Ross’s: teamwork.
Authors can be solitary individuals, and today’s technology allows a writer to produce a document they can publish themselves using Amazon’s proprietary software. No middle-man. Quick and relatively easy. If you have the creative skills, the dedication and the technical mindset that Ross clearly displays, you can make a success of being a one-woman band. I did something similar when I published my mother’s memoir (A Kangaroo In My Sideboard) through Amazon in 2018. But the major difference between me and L J Ross is that, in writing both The Murder Tree and The Titanic Document, I incorporated a team of experts at every stage.
That process did slow things down, but for me, feedback on my draft work was hugely important. Periodically I would receive critique from fellow writers on the text I produced. Then I would make adjustments, or re-write sections. Even when I’d finished the whole story, I employed a professional editor to provide an in-depth analysis that induced further changes before starting the publication process with Troubador. Their professional services (typesetting, design, marketing and distribution) can easily take around six months, even longer for the big traditional publishing houses like Random House, Penguin or Harper Collins. All these companies (including Troubador) have high standards, and the quality of the books they put on shelves in our shops and libraries is what I aim to match.
So, it all takes time.
I’ll end this post with a link to Troubador’s shop window. This is where you will find the paperback version of my second novel, and because of the present restrictions imposed around Covid-19, it’s a useful place to obtain a physical copy in future. Have a look around HERE. The standard of the products on offer is second to none, and each one only gets there after months of careful application by a team of skilled professionals. I’m proud to work with people who care as much as I do about quality – but, at the end of the day, it is the reader who will judge the end product.
In around eight weeks’ time…
COMING NEXT: Who, What, Where and When? The Inside Story of The Titanic Document.
Need to know:
I don’t just write fiction.