Finishing a book is always an odd time for me. And I’m talking about writing one, not reading one. Y’see, I don’t show it to anybody while I’m working on it, so I’m never quite sure what the reaction to it will be. Sure, I might discuss a few ideas with my wife, but that’s all, so when it’s finished it’s . . . unseen. And there’s always that niggle of doubt. Curse you, self-doubt!
I don’t push the manuscript to one side and think, ‘Right, that’s the next masterpiece written, what shall I do to change the world today?’ No, it’s more of a tentative handover to my wife, slightly cringing, hoping that she’s going to like it.
And that is the first airing. The first test.
Usually it comes back with a few suggestions, but nothing too major. Because the real test is yet to come.
If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know I have a no-nonsense-tell-it-how-it-is agent and that she is the real test. Because if there’s even the slightest thing wrong with the manuscript, she will be sure to let me know. No sugar coating. No niceties. No beating about the bush.
So it is with great relief that I can tell you she loved the new book, describing it with words like ‘exciting’, ‘strong’ and ‘intense’. Oh and the twists all took her by surprise.
And this is great news for me. I wrote this book in a very short time after a long talk with my publisher about producing a new novel to slot in between The Child Thief and God and The Devil (which is already written and was originally due in 2013 but will now come in 2014). This new novel is the perfect companion to The Child Thief and will whisk you back to Eastern Europe – Russia this time – and drop you right into a land stricken by civil war where you will join the main character in his search to discover what has happened to . . . and why . . . and who . . . no, sorry, I just can’t tell you any more.
So there it is. The new book is gathering momentum and my excitement levels are growing as the heads of approval begin to nod. We writers are such fickle devils, you see, that we thrive on acceptance and praise.
Oh, and in the meantime, The Child Thief is getting some great coverage over in New Zealand which is fantastic. Reviews, interviews and giveaways have appeared in ten different publications – from the New Zealand Herald to The South Taranaki Star and The Northern Advocate, The Bay of Plenty Times, The Wairarapa Times and the Wanganui Chronicle.