A Novel Solution
It’s funny how you drift into novel-writing. For yonks I thought I’d never get round to it. I had success of a sort with other stuff – short stories, radio and TV sketches, stage plays, TV scripts (“The Net” for ITV, “Balamory” for the BBC). I’ve been in journalism for years and written lengthy factual reports, including a 55,000-word one on education.
I never tried my hand at a novel because I reckoned I didn’t have the self-discipline or stamina to see it through. Once I got started, I realised how crazy that was. You get so absorbed in the narrative you’re devising and the characters you’re creating that you don’t want to drag yourself away. Your novel takes over. If you’re like me, you’re not thinking about Amazon sales charts or an interview with Oprah Winfrey, you simply want to write the best novel you can, one that you yourself would enjoy reading.
That’s how I got round to The Girl with the Haunting Smile. I didn’t start out till I’d come up with a strong hero to whom readers could easily relate and who has a huge “want”, an all-consuming focus that drives him right through the novel. I leave you to guess what that focus is. Whatever happens, I won’t regret the time and energy I’ve spent on it. They say we all have a novel in us. If that is so, it’s a shame that most never get it out. It’s an experience worth living.