18 December 2012

Becoming a Novelist

Back in 1990, I was on a working holiday in England. Actually, it was more holiday than work, so I had a bit of time on my hands. I'd always fancied trying my hand at writing fiction, so I went out and bought myself a decent pen and a pad of foolscap paper and started writing a novel. I'd been reading a lot of Stephen King and James Herbert at the time, so I tried to write a horror story.

Well, I never finished that one. I did start typing it up when I got back to Australia, on a real typewriter, remember them? It was probably more of a horrible story than a horror.

A few years later, I'd been reading a lot of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams and decided to have another go. I got a lot further into this one, but again, never finished it. Donna and her youngest daughter were both a bit annoyed that they didn't get to see how it ended, but I didn't know how it was going to end myself.

When I left my last job in September, I decided to give it another go. I'd been reading a lot of Air Law, Meteorology, Air Traffic Services, etc, so I wasn't really influenced by anything this time.

I'm happy to say, I finally finished one and here's the result.

A lot of people have asked me what it's about. Well, it's probably best described as being in the espionage genre, but it's certainly not a James Bond or a Jason Bourne. Here's the blurb from the back of the book.

"On his days off, Jason "Megsy" McGraw likes nothing better than a quiet paddle in his homemade kayak.
Harry Carter likes nothing better than not getting killed while he works. When Jason finds Harry hidden away in the mangroves his life becomes one of bad guys, dodgy packages and a mystery from the cold war."

It's now available on Amazon Kindle for US 0.99c and you can buy it by clicking here. The paperback version should be available for purchase in a couple of weeks, once I've got my copy of the proofs. It'll cost US $14.95 and will be 240 pages.

It's been a great experience writing it and I've learned a lot. For example, plan your book before you write, especially if you have a lot of plot twists, otherwise you end up confusing yourself. I had to stop half way through and ended up writing half a dozen pages of notes, just to work out what was happening. There were also a few nights, when an idea came to me while I was in bed and I had to get up and make a note of it before I forgot.

Now I just have to learn how to sell it. Oh, and get started on the sequel.