Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The lost manuscript

The other day I came across an e-mail I'd written a year and a half ago about a pitch I was making for a crime book I'd just completed. It was part of my master plan for making a living as a writer and I was looking for a quick answer. The  book wasn't quite right, my agent came back to me and I made the alterations he suggested ... and forgot all about it.

The reason I know this is because I've just finished a long-intended rewrite of the first novel in that series, which I started in about 2006, and I was searching for the original synopsis. I think they're both great books, with fantastic main characters, fast paced and a real story to tell, but because of everything that's happened in between they've ended up on the back burner.

In a recent interview, I was asked what advice I would give to a writer looking to be published. I thought about it for a long time, but there really was only one answer: persevere. I should probably have added: always check your e-mails and never throw away an idea.

Since I made that pitch I've written Defender of Rome, The Doomsday Testament and I'm half way through Avenger of Rome, with an epic battle still to fight. That means Brothers in Arms and War Games will stay on the back burner for a while, but I intend to persevere until they're in print too.

One of the great things about interviews is that you find yourself listening to your own advice: for once!

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