What do you do when your sales have dried up? Sulk in the corner? Rant and rave about how unfair it all is? Of course not; you start writing again.
It’s fair to say that sales haven’t been stellar recently – the odd one here and there, and nothing for over a week now. Since Monkey Arkwright was published at the end of November, I seem to have spent most of my “sitting in front of the computer” time tweeting, writing reviews of indie authors books or doing one promotional post or another. It’s all necessary mechanical stuff to keep the wheels turning, but what it does stop you doing is what you set out to do in the first place: write.
But not anymore, my friends, because in a blaze of glory, not only have I started book #2 in The Wardens of the Black Heart series, but I’ve got the first chapter in the bag (as Charles Gooch might say). The spade hit the earth last Saturday and work continued erratically throughout the week.
Regular readers may remember some of my past ramblings on the subject of the exhausting editing process for the first book. For my next book, I resolved to work in a different way, and in that at least, I have met my target. The first chapter was written in just over 2 hours, after which it was handed over to my editor extraordinaire – my youngest daughter Rachel – and we worked through it resolving all those pesky grammatical errors. I’m not saying that I won’t change a few words here or there or add a whole paragraph later when I realise that I’ve missed out an important plot point. But to all intents and purposes, it’s done.
I can’t wait to get back to writing about Lorna and Monkey again (they didn’t feature in the first chapter). One of the good things about the second book in a series is that you’ve already done a lot of the donkey work in establishing the characters, so now you can just pick them out of the cupboard, dust them off and get them up and running again within minutes.
As I’ve previously noted, I don’t write at a consistent rate. Most of my writing is done in autumn and winter, so a completed chapter in a week doesn’t mean the book will be finished in the next six months – my aim is to get between six and ten chapters done by the summer, at which point I can think about what I’ve written and turn things over in my mind during the holiday season (that’s summer for us in the UK, I know that sounds a lot like Christmas!)