This was my first book – the one that took years to write (on, off, on, off, on…etc.) and became the one that took me the final step from being someone who wanted to write a book to someone who finally did it. But boy is that a big step – finishing that first one. With the second and third you know what you have to do and crack on with it – not that it’s easier at all but you know the steps to get there, so it’s a bit quicker. It’s like you’ve found a way through the maze. You still have to walk through and be careful, but you’ll get there.
After an online course by James Patterson, I was inspired to start, but what to write about? Well, I mostly read thrillers (as does JP) at the time so that was a given, and I remembered the saying ‘Write what you know.’ My wife had recently introduced me to cruise holidays so I thought I’d at least set it there because it would give me an environment to describe that I knew a bit about. At that point, I had no idea I would ever publish anything but gave it a shot.
Halfway through I let some friends read it – my first ‘alpha readers’ even if they didn’t know it. They all liked it and said I should continue. It took a while, and being furloughed from the day job through Covid, but when I’d finally finished I did the same again and they encouraged me to publish it on Amazon. And the rest is history (did I really just say that? Sorry.)
On subsequent cruises, I’ve handed out a book or two to people I’ve seen reading thrillers on their sunloungers. It’s pretty daunting approaching a complete stranger with a free gift when I’m supposed to be on holiday, but cruise passengers are a friendly bunch and who doesn’t like a freebie?! Once, on Christmas Day just as we were about to to leave our ship, the guy I had given a book to only two days before found me and told me he’d finished it already and really enjoyed it. All these little moments encourage me to keep going and write more…