Last week I had a crisis of confidence in Book Three (wt: Afterglow). Pants idea, no clear plot and with two timeslines and 3 POVs, far too tricky to write. No one would want to read it because there main characters take drugs. What was the point? And I had a couple of one star reviews to back up just how rubbish my books are. I won’t share the gory details but they used phrases such as “the content was rancid” and “an example of how not to write”. Oh I know I shouldn’t take negative reviews to heart – usually, I don’t, but when they arrive in the middle of an ongoing confidence crisis, it really is soul destroying.
With my faith in Afterglow shot to pieces, I decided to do what many people said I should do with #Forfeit when I was stuggling with that: If you’re not feeling it, move onto another book.
So bye-bye Afterglow, hello One Big Family.
Three days later… I hate One Big Family. Pants idea, no clear plot and with flashbacks and 4 or 5 POVs, far too tricky to write. Sound familiar? Ugh.
So bye-bye One Big Family and hello my first short story, The Walk of Shame. Double ugh. Can’t be figged to write that. What I’d really like to do is write a series of kids books, but a crisis in confidence has turned in abject apathy. Clearly, I’m failing at this author lark, but what’s the freaking point of writing books anyway?
And then I get this review…
Outstanding romance, stunning murder mystery
Best friends Libby and Zoe are struggling to hold their city lives together. Libby can’t keep a job and Zoe’s relationship is going nowhere. Salvation arrives in the form of an inheritance from Zoe’s aunt – a cottage in The Lakes. The cottage may be crumbling but its location is in an idyllic village seemingly populated by ‘fit’ men and their equally gorgeous wives and girlfriends. As a romantic novel, this is perfectly crafted. As a murder mystery, the back story is brilliantly embedded within the plot to make this an absolutely unputdownable read. With plenty of steamy romance, some more steamy than romantic, the pace fairly flies along. The end absolutely hits you between the eyes and the clever plotline prevents you from really relaxing your guard throughout. When a book grips your attention to the extent that you get annoyed when your reading is interrupted by real life then you know you’re onto a winner. I loved everything about this book and felt quite lost when it came to an end.
~ Five Star review of Nearly Almost Somebody from someone called “Perkins”
Actually, sod the One-starrers – they probably don’t like gay marriage or kitten videos either. Besides, I’m not writing books for them. I’m writing books for me and “Perkins”. And I love writing books, creating worlds and relationships. The real problem is that I wrote The End on Forfeit in 2010 and the same words on NAS in 2011. I’m out of practice, that’s all. Now I get why established authors advise to “write every day”, it’s a skill you need to keep practising. There’s now a 500-word per day minimum in my house – FYI blog posts count.
After I gave myself a stern talking to, I got back to work on Afterglow. It’ll be a tad different to my other books. If #Forfeit is the Literary Love Child of Jilly Cooper and Swedish House Mafia, then Afterglow is the novel that Quentin Tarantino would write if he turned his hand to Chick Lit – drugs, gangsters, murders, beatings… and a totes emosh love story. True Romance meets One Day.
Not everyone will love it, but I know one person who definitely will. Me.
I’m back in the game, baby.