Thanks to my friend and fellow author Richard Hardie for inviting me to participate in this new blog tour. It’s like a virtual studio open house tour. I met Richard at a World Book Day event and we exchange emails and experiences and have read and reviewed each other’s work…. Favourably I would add!
To look at Richard’s writing process go to http://richardhardie.blogspot.co.uk
This is my contribution to the tour.
WHAT AM I CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
My writing time is currently split between writing my fourth thriller that has something of a chilling plot, and working with my publishers Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie in getting ‘Shadows in Sunshine’ into print.
HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?
The Ian Vaughan series have all included some sailing in them. In a way they follow the concept originally presented by Erskine Childers in his book ‘The Riddle of the Sands’, but I also carry a parallel storyline on shore. This has set them apart from all of the many thriller authors I have read to date, though I doubt if I am unique amongst present day writers. Like the big boys in the thriller-writing world I work hard on research for my books to ensure that the plots are as believable as possible.
HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?
I came to be a writer more by accident or rather incident than design or desire. It is strange how things in life happen to put one on a completely different course. At the time of the accident/incident I worked for a major Japanese Trading Corporation as a Project Administrator/Marketing Executive. The job entailed a lot of travelling and I spent many hours sitting in London’s Heathrow Airport waiting for flights to one country or another. On one such occasion I was doing my normal file reading preparation, ready for the meeting I was travelling to attend, when the crowd movement drew my attention to two very threatening looking individuals. So great was their impact upon me that I closed the file and started to write the first page of ‘A Cast of Hawks’. In the months that followed I continued to use my travelling time to write more of the story, completing five or six chapters. Then came a change of career and the time for writing disappeared, so the manuscript was put aside for twenty five years until, in retirement, a chance remark led to friends reading the partial work and insisting that I complete it.
Even at this stage my writing was more occasional, and when the mood took me, rather than a disciplined approach. That was until my friends insisted that I hone the work and submit it for publication. “You’re serious?” I asked. “Yes we are serious,” they replied, and at that moment a disciplined approach was adopted. Now my approach is to follow a sequence. One, establish the main plot. Two, consider sub-plots, and their timing. Three, characters required. Four, start research. Five, start writing and aim to complete at least a page a day of viable text. There are, however, hick-ups to this, caused by the need to do a part-time job to fund trips to book signing events, and the endless marketing. So the writing days become extended, and on those, two or more pages must be done to maintain my target.
I am fortunate to have a pleasant garden office in which to weave my plots and paint them in words upon the page.
‘A Cast of Hawks’ was finally completed in 2010 and was followed in 2012 by ‘Batsu’. Currently ‘Shadows in Sunshine’ is going through the publication process, and I hope that it will be available for readers to purchase in November. All three books follow the life of Ian Vaughan, once a happily married family man, now divorced and working as a spy.
I now tag Lee Fomes writer of the ‘L Shaped Village’ books that solve that amazing question that is on so many children’s minds, which is, ‘How does Santa Claus’ deliver presents world wide in one night.’
Visit Lee on his website http://thel-shapedvillage.webr.ly.