Friday, March 15, 2013


Well, here we are again with post #2. Told you I'd be back.

So I thought this time it might be worth talking about how I came up with the idea for my first novel, THE WRONG MAN, and why I felt impelled me to write the book in the first place.

The 'why' is very simple. In my previous life I was a graphic designer for a large well-know business directory. It was an enjoyable job, but for a number of reasons I won't go into right now I was planning on emigrating to the Far East and starting afresh. But I wasn't going to do it until I knew for sure I could support myself. I just needed to figure out how. (Believe it or not, there isn't exactly a great demand for graphic designers overseas. Besides which, I really wanted to be my own boss.) Well, suffice it to say that over the next couple of years I tried out a number of business ideas while still working at my day job, but none of them really amounted to anything. Some of us are natural entrepreneurs. Some of us aren't. I clearly wasn't.

And then it came to me. I'd been an avid reader for as long as I could remember. I'd always loved going to the library or visiting book sales and discovering new authors. Nothing pleased me more than getting lost in a good novel. So, I thought, why not see if I could write one myself? It really was one of those 'lightbulb over the head' moments you read about. Besides, what did I have to lose? Nothing except time. After berating myself for not thinking of the idea sooner, the next step was to hunker down and figure out the kind of book I wanted to write.

Well, a thriller, obviously.

That went without saying. Although I read pretty much anything regardless of subject matter, it was the thriller genre I always came back to in the end. And since my favourite characters were those who'd appeared in more than one book, I also decided to make my hero a series character too. So I began making lots of notes, bullet points really, listing the characteristics and attributes I wanted in my protagonist. At the same time, I began figuring out various set-pieces I'd like to see in a thriller novel. Slowly, very slowly, a story based around a revenge theme began to take shape.

Once I knew the direction in which I was going, I needed to then outline the story. Many authors refuse to do this part and just go straight to the writing. And that's fine for them. But not for me. I'm a methodical person and I like to have an idea of what's ahead of me. So I went the 'post-it notes on the wall' route, with each post-it note representing a chapter. I worked on it and worked on it, and a number of months later I finally had the first seventy or so chapters figured out. Kind of. I still hadn't worked out the ending at that point, but I figured that could come later.

Now came the scary part. Writing it. But I do believe that's a tale for another post...

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