Well, I've done it now. From July 15, I will be a full time writer. The new book deal I got from Transworld coincided with a voluntary redundancy offer to everybody at The Scotsman and I decided to go for it. It was a huge decision after 36 years in newspapers, but I felt a door had opened that I had to walk through. Not to take the chance would have been to spend the rest of my life asking myself 'What if?'
Do I have doubts? Of course I do. I know as well as anyone how difficult it is to make a living from being a writer. Caligula did well, but Claudius will have to do better, and the following books better still. I have about two and a half to three years to make an impact, to be a successful author. In that three years, I have three more books to write, and the fact that I have more time to spend on them will make them better books. It will also let me develop ideas for other books that have been bubbling under.
I couldn't have done this without the support of my family. Alison and my kids, Kara, Nikki and Gregor have backed me all the way. I owe it to them to make this work. Wish me luck!