Something occurred to me about The Doomsday Testament recently that gives me a lot of satisfaction as a writer, but that I hadn't realised when I was writing it. There's not a single line of physical description for one of the main characters.
He's not tall or short, fat or thin. His nose isn't blunt or long or sharp. His eyes never twinkle and they have no colour. He exists, but only in the reader's imagination.
It wasn't a conscious decision on my part, but it wasn't a mistake either. It's just that I was so comfortable in the character himself that I never needed to flesh him out. What he is, he is through his thoughts and his feelings, and what other people think, say about or see in him. We believe we know him, because when we first meet him he's part of a certain type of group, but singled out from it because he doesn't quite belong. I'd always wanted him to be an enigma, but I didn't realise just how successful I'd been.
Doomsday and Defender of Rome are off to a great start. They've both had very good early reviews. The hardback of Defender is doing well on Amazon and Doomsday sold around 2,700 copies in the first week, which is impressive for a debut novel by an unknown writer, as James Douglas is. To give it some perspective, if they'd been hardback sales the novel would be sitting at about No. 5 in the UK sales charts. How much of that is down to the tremendous marketing effort by Transworld and how much to my Heath Robinson campaign on Facebook and Twitter, I don't know, but a huge thanks to everyone for their support.
This week I'll be giving the first draft of Avenger of Rome a polish before it goes off to my publisher, then it's on to The Isis Covenant and another hair-raising adventure for Jamie Saintclair.