It is all very well to be able to write books, but can you wiggle your ears?
I’ve written three novels in the last two years. Like everything in life, I’ve learned a lot as I’ve gone along.
The first story introduced Charlie Lockhart. It’s set in Afghanistan and Los Angles and England. It’s called Fearless.
The second story was hard work. I wrote baout 100,000 words before showing it to my agent who also edits my writing. She refocussed it to make it more commercial. “Refocussing” involved stripping it back to the basic plot and shedding 55,000 words. Not an easy or enjoyable task. Eventually I built it back up to something more charactor driven. It’s called The Deadhorse Project. Deadhorse is a small oil town at the top of the Dalton Hightway in Alaska. It’s isolated and cold. The whole story is bunkered and claustrophobic and stays almost entirely in Deadhorse.
My third story is just finished. At least, it’s first draft finished. I love it. Over the past two years I’ve come to understand Lockhart much better, and this is the first story from his perspective. It’s called Helter Skelter. This is the blurb for it which I posted a few days ago:
A vast sky. An empty desert. And nothing for miles except a woman lying in the middle of a lonely road. When Charlie Lockhart stops to help, he finds himself drawn into a dark conspiracy and a dangerous chase where nothing is quite what it seems.
A rolling stone, Lockhart is trying to stay one step ahead of his own troubles, but when an innocent girl is kidnapped and her deadly secret is revealed, he knows that walking away is not going to be an option.
When a US drone goes missing and the bodies start to stack up Lockhart gets to work, uncovering the scale of the conspiracy and the psychotic mastermind at its heart.
With no one to trust and with time running out Lockhart is the only person who can stop the madness. So he heads out into the desert alone, unarmed, and dangerous.
I’m midway through smoothing and editing the manuscript. Meanwhile, I’ve also begun a fourth Charlie Lockhart story which is currently called The Mule but will almost definately be called something else before it’s finished. Here’s the opening chapter, if you’re interested.