Friday, 1 March 2013

What do I do now?

The Following - Last night's distraction from decision-making.
I think there comes a time in an author's life when they finally realise just what it is they feel comfortable writing, and which direction that will now send them in as they move forward in their writing career. I think that may have happened to me last night as I loaded the dishwasher. And again as I caught up with The Following on SKY+ (I do like that Kevin Bacon...). By the time we got round to watching the News Headlines on Sky News at midnight I'd almost come to a decision. Then I woke up this morning and became all indecisive again, which is nothing unusual. We can't even pick a film to watch in this house without a major debate and possibly a minor argument first. Anyway, I digress. What I'm trying to say here is, I've written seven books now, of mixed genres. Well, that isn't strictly true, because they're all contemporary romances. But they're all different kinds of romance, that's what I'm trying to say. We have the light-hearted romantic comedies, Too Much Trouble in Paradise and Bon Voyage, the sweet and gentle Christmas romance Christmas Without Icing, and the sexy, edgy romances No Matter What, Illusions of Love and rock star romance See You At The Show. And then we have the sexiest of all my books - the just-released Striker. I mean, I haven't strayed into erotica or anything, but it's close. Maybe a smidgeon off. 

But, the books I enjoyed writing the most were the edgy, sexier books. The ones that didn't stop the sex scenes once the bedroom door (or dressing room door, as is the case - sometimes - in Striker!) is closed. I enjoyed creating tougher characters, harder plot lines. When I'm writing this stuff I can lose myself for hours researching the characters, thinking over the storylines - so, the first of many decisions made last night as I carried out various domestic chores and caught up with all the TV I've missed, was that I'll more than likely be leaving the romantic comedies behind for a bit. I've written two, I loved writing them, but for now they'll probably be the only two I'll write for a while. And even though Christmas Without Icing was a fantastic little short story to write, mainly because I wrote it at Christmas and set it in a place I've visited and loved (Lapland), even I'm still trying to work out how I turned out such a sweet and beautiful tale. Because I'm much more at home with the tougher, edgier stories.

So, decision to push forward with trying to become the Jackie Collins of the North East made - what about the next decision? Just what do I write next?

Is the next book in the 'Striker Trilogy' closer than we thought?

Now, some of you may be thinking, well, hang on, didn't she say she was going to start work on another installment in the India/Kenny story? Continue on from No Matter What and Illusions of Love? Yeah, I did. But, as usual, things are never quite as straightforward as they first seem. You see, I thought I could just leave the characters from Striker behind until it was time to start writing the next book in the 'Striker Trilogy'. I thought I could let them go for a few months and start work on a brand new book. But I'm not sure it's going to be that simple. 

I have a story in my head for 'Extra Time' (the next book in the 'Striker Trilogy'), and it's just screaming to get out. Now, I know I've told a few people that I also had a story in my head for what was supposed to be my next book ('Flawed to Perfection'), but, it wasn't nearly as fully-formed. I was still throwing ideas backwards and forwards in my head, wondering who to concentrate on, what angle the story should take. Whereas, with 'Extra Time', I almost know exactly what's going to happen. Or what I'd like to happen, anyway, as most writers will know once a story starts to take hold, it can sometimes take you on a different journey to the one you first anticipated. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I really want to stick with the 'Striker Trilogy'. I want to keep that continuity going. While everything is still fresh in my mind, I want to start pushing the story forward, moving onto the next stage. I just can't bear to say goodbye to those characters just yet, and that may sound odd to some people, but I actually felt incredibly sad last night at the thought of not being with Amber, Ryan, Jim or Ronnie for a good few months. And yet now, with the prospect of staying with them on the cards, I feel ten times more settled. Happier. Comfortable. Yes, I'm comfortable with the decision to stick with the 'Striker Trilogy' for now. Been a bit of a cathartic blog post, this one, if not a little rambling, so thank you if you've stuck with it up until now.

So, after all of that, what exactly does this mean as far as my next book is concerned? Well, I think I can safely say that, now, it's more-than-likely going to be 'Extra Time' that will see the light of day first. I'm going to start making a few notes, planning a few things out and getting all my thoughts for that book down on paper next week, and we'll see what happens. But, I'll also be doing exactly the same with 'Flawed to Perfection'. Because what I write almost always depends on the mood I happen to be in at the time. Is it possible to work on two books at the same time? Not sure. Never done it before. I'll let you know!

For now, though, don't be disappointed if the next book you were expecting from me was a return to Hollywood to catch up with India and the gang. That book will happen. It just remains to be seen whether it's going to happen sooner, or later... Watch this space...

Jamie Redknapp - the perfect Ronnie White?
Oh, and before I go, those of you who keep up with my blog posts (God help you all, you must have the patience of a saint!), you'll know that most of the characters I created in Striker had a muse, someone in mind that I could see being that character. Or the main characters of Amber, Ryan and Jim did, anyway. But what about the character of ex-footballer-turned-TV pundit Ronnie White? Amber's best friend in the book and, to be fair on Ronnie, quite a main character himself. When I was writing him I didn't actually have anyone in my head at the time; he was written purely out of imagination with no help or inspiration from any TV/movie star or sportsman. But then, yesterday, there was a bit of a breakthrough. Suddenly there was someone - and heaven knows how I didn't see it before - who I could so see Ronnie being based on, and, funnily enough, he's the first sportsman to feature as a source of inspiration, considering Striker is a sports-based romance - the rather gorgeous Jamie Redknapp, himself an ex-footballer-turned-TV pundit. Perfect! So, for those of you reading Striker at the minute, or thinking about reading it, I'll leave you with that thought while I go away and wonder if this blog post made any sense whatsoever to anyone else but me. I think it's just one of those days...

Striker is available to download HERE now from Amazon. Only £1.97! Just think, almost 500 pages of sexy escapism for less than the price of a decent cup of coffee... ;)

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