Thursday 14 July 2016

Inside The Author: How Long Will I Write For?


I don't think any writer really ever plans how long their career will last. As I've said before, it all depends on how long they can keep the ideas going in addition to other real life commitments. Of course, many writers would prefer that their day job was writing, but it's not always possible for that to happen. Life has a way of getting in the way of the best laid plans, but I always had some idea as to how my writing career would go.

When I was first published, I planned to write ten books; five of the DYING THOUGHTS series and five standalones. It was only a year or so ago when I was writing the last words to my ninth and tenth books that I realised I still had more writing to do. I had plans for my next two books and so I decided I would aim for fifteen books, with the option of going to twenty if I ever hit that target. As it stands now, I have nearly finished my eleventh and twelfth books - in fact by the time this is published, I think I'll be in the beginning chapters of the next two - and I already have more than a small plan for the main plots of my next projects.

I've always said that I will write until I run out of ideas or until someone tells me to stop, and I think that even if someone did say that to me, I wouldn't actually be able to. I've been writing as a job now for the past thirteen years, published for almost ten years, and I'm nowhere near running out of steam. I figure that as long as my health allows it, then I will continue to write, because it's not just a job for me now, it's something I live and breathe for. It's my passion. I get my inspiration from everything and see ideas, characters and plot twists in everyday life, as I'm sure many other writers do. I feel like I still have a number of stories left to tell, a number of characters left to create and breathe life into, and until I get to the point where I'm no longer getting light bulb moments, I plan to keep going.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I'll be continuing the DYING THOUGHTS series forever. As it stands, I thought five  books would be enough to tell Tara's story, but it's turned into eight. All good things must come to an end and although Tara and Kaolin have been with me almost since the beginning of my career, there will come a time when I have to say that they have told all there is to tell and I must close the book on their lives and let them be. I have the idea that it'll be when Tara is in the police force as a paid and trained officer, but even then, I'm not too sure if I'll get to that point.

As for my others books, well I have plans and ideas and one of the projects I will start on soon has the potential to become a two book series or a trilogy. I don't want the book to be a brick, but at the same time I don't want to end it before it's ready, so I'll spend some serious time thinking about whether or not it can be told in one shot or if it needs to be spread out over two or three parts. I won't really know until I start writing and get some idea of how long it will be. That's another part that I really do like about the job, you don't know what's going to happen every day. You can plan and think ahead but sometimes it's not until you're knee deep in a scene that you realise things aren't going to go to plan and you have to take a left turn. It's constantly surprising me and while it continues to do that, I'll continue to write.

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