Jim’s thoughtful post about the relative sizes of our respective books is well timed, and not in the pejorative sense. A hell of a lot of the books being published are of the 70 to 80 thousand word mark, so why should I beat the hairy poo out of my head producing something nearly twice that size? Partly I suppose it’s because I tend to write crime novels where there’s more than one mystery to solve. A hell of a lot more. Its like Santa opened his sack and there’s murders for everyone! Or it could be that I'm just a verbose, rambling bastard.
It will come as no surprise that this brings it’s own difficulties: as The Nameless Horror says, there’s a line of credibility which can be difficult to cross in the UK. Mass murder in the north east of Scotland doesn’t exactly fit the real life crime statistics. Last year I think only five people were murdered, and all of those crimes were solved. (It has to be said that, where murder is concerned, Grampian Police kicks arse.) But there were nearly twenty times as many attempted murders and nearly 3,000 people went missing.
Three thousand people vanished without a trace. Anyone else thinking ‘unmarked grave’?
Which eclectically and awkwardly brings us back to the subject of this post (you see, you knew there was some sort of purpose in here somewhere: stick with it and you may be disappointed yet…): the books of 2005. This year I intend to say “ta-ta” to my soul-destroying, spirit-crushing, trouser-clenching job and take on the mantle of ‘WRITE-IST’! And as I can, when I pull my finger out, produce 3,500 words a day, I have a new years resolution I want to share with you all: this year I WILL produce two full length books. One featuring DS Logan McRae (continuing the series) and another altogether darker book. The fabled ‘standalone’ which will really let me get… well… nasty. Or at least, very unpleasant.
The only trouble will be what to do with it. I’d like to be bringing out two books a year, but that all depends on HC and how they want to grow this thing (presuming they don’t just want to rip it up by the roots and sow the ground with salt).Maybe I could end up as one of those schizophrenic munchkins who churns out volume after volume under a collection of assumed names. But to be honest, I’d much rather just be me. After all, I don’t want to wind up wearing some strange weirdo’s underwear!