I love and hate the question “where do you get your inspiration from?” in equal measure. I love it because it makes me reflect on how I came up with each idea, and I hate it because it makes me feel vulnerable. The worst thing that could happen to a writer is running out of inspiration, and each time I finish a book I think, “I’m never going to have such a good idea again”. So it’s a very worrying question!
One of the great joys of writing novels is the fact that – as the author – you get to build the characters you want to. You can make them as evil or as wonderful as you like, and they can embody the worst of human behaviour, or the best. I am a great people watcher, and I am totally fascinated by the way individuals treat each other and react to situations. When I see a behaviour that is interesting, I store it up, ready to paste it into one of my character profiles, usually exaggerated to make a fairly simple human failing into something considerably more sinister.
I am often asked why I chose to self-publish, and the answer is that it wasn’t really a conscious decision. I had written my first book – Only the Innocent – because the idea for the story had been buzzing around in my head for about ten years, and so one very cold winter I decided I was going to spend my days writing a novel. It’s the best decision I think I have ever made!
People often ask me why I decided to write thrillers, and I’m never sure what the right answer is. I have always loved reading thrillers – not so much traditional crime fiction, but more the psychological, slightly twisted, tales that chill a person to the bone. But that’s not the only type of fiction that I enjoy. I’ll happily read just about any book, so why did I choose to write crime? I would argue that my books aren’t really about crime. The underlying story is about people – how they behave towards each other, treat each other, and abuse their power. But as there is always a crime committed as a result of this behaviour, it becomes necessary to have a police presence. Without a doubt, though, I would say my books are more about the ‘why’ than the ‘who, what, where’ of a traditional crime novel.
I am very happy to welcome author Rob Sinclair to the blog today. Rob is the author of the Enemy series of thrillers featuring intelligence agent Carl Logan. He self-published his first novel, Dance with the Enemy, in 2014 to widespread acclaim and recently released the follow-up novel, Rise of the Enemy. Today Rob discusses why it’s important for self-published authors to understand that they are also entrepreneurs. Writing a best seller is easy, isn’t it? It’s just a process of stringing together 100,000 words in the correct order. If it’s good enough, getting the book to sell is then a no-brainer, of course. From your very first reader, word of mouth will simply take control and spiral outwards across the globe. Within weeks your book will be topping the charts, have been translated into several languages and you’ll have received several offers for film rights from big Hollywood studios.
This is a hastily written blog post in response to requests for information on marketing self-published books – so I apologise in advance for any errors. I am sitting in my hotel room with my laptop balanced precariously on my knee with half an hour before I have to leave to catch a train! The reason for the haste is that yesterday I attended an excellent event hosted by ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors), and it was reported by the equally excellent of Joanna Penn (of www.thecreativepenn.com) that my blog has advice on successful marketing for independent authors.
As a writer, I feel I have a duty to provide a complete story that leaves my readers satisfied. Equally, and maybe slightly bizarrely, I feel a duty to my characters – imaginary though they may be – to be true to them. And sometimes this has been a bone of contention with my readers. Obviously I can’t talk in detail about the end of each of my books without giving away far too much, so I will have to write in general terms.
I’m really excited to be doing a blog tour for Stranger Child, and there are some great interviews and posts lined up. I’ll be talking about writing, characters, inspiration – the bloggers have asked some fascinating questions, and it would be great if you could spare the time to visit some of the tour stops. Check out the poster below to find out what’s on and where, and then underneath the poster are the live links to the blogs to make it as easy as possible for you to visit. On some systems, the poster might be difficult to read, so here are the dates and the subjects: An interview with Tom Douglas – 25th February http://www.jenniferjoycewrites.co.uk/ Extract from Stranger Child – 26th February http://jerasjamboree.blogspot.co.uk/ Social Media and Authors – 27th February http://kimthebookworm.blogspot.co.uk/ Q&A with Rachel Abbott – 28th February http://promotingcrime.blogspot.com/ Writing Rituals and Inspiration – 1st March http://www.novelkicks.co.uk/ The …
Stranger Child – my fourth thriller – is published TODAY on Amazon for the Kindle, and I’m very excited. If you haven’t already signed up to come along to the Facebook party, it starts at 2 pm GMT and lasts for seven hours – so you can dip in and out when you like. Do please come along and join. Click here to find out more. (Note: A paperback version will be published in May.) Check out the video above to set the mood. One dark secret One act of revenge They say you should never trust a stranger. Maybe they’re right. Visit the Amazon page, wherever you are in the world, to find out more.
On 24th February, I will be holding a launch party on Facebook for Stranger Child, and I’d love you to come along and join in the fun. The party lasts from 2 pm to 9 pm (GMT) but just pop in and out when you have the time. There are competitions, lots of great prizes (including a much coveted ‘Come Dine with Tom Douglas’ apron), music, quizzes and a chance to chat with other readers and fire questions at me! Just click on the graphic and choose JOIN, and it will be great to see you there.