“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Normal Service Will Probably Not Be Resumed

Apologies to the Three Regular Readers, yet again, for how slack the service has become on Crime Always Pays. Right now my brain-space is being colonised by a couple of writing projects, one of which is a rewrite, the other a whole new book.
  I’m very wary of the rewrite, because at the moment I’m thinking that it won’t take a lot of work, more of a spit-and-polish job, and whenever I find myself thinking that way I tend to be very disappointed indeed, and up to my oxters in pulling the story apart and stapling it back together again. So there’s that.
  The whole new book, of course, is a terrifying prospect. It’s at times like this that I find myself glancing to the right of the desk, where a little shelf holds my previously published novels, and telling myself, ‘Well, you’ve obviously managed to write a book before. Just do what you did the last time.’ Except you forget what you did the last time. I think it’s a similar process to how the body has no physical memory of pain. Or maybe it’s because no two books are written the same way. It might help my case if I was writing a similar kind of book to the last one, or the one before that, but this book is something new for me (it’s a spy novel, of sorts). Matters aren’t helped by the fact that I haven’t written any fiction for about six months, so it feels like I’m emerging from hibernation - sluggish, stiff, yawning. And on top of all that, I have an either-or decision to make about the main character which will have huge ramifications on how the story is told, and I’m reluctant to dive into telling it in case I realise, 30,000 words later, that the other option would have been the better choice.
  And yes, I do appreciate how much that all sounds like procrastination. But due to other commitments, it does look like this new book will have to be written between the hours of 5am and 7am, as was the last, and I really don’t know if I have the physical stamina for that kind of regime.
  The flip side to that, of course, is that if I don’t do some proper writing in the very near future, I’ll end up a basket case and an absolute bear to live with. And that ain’t good, either.
  Anyway, that’s where I’m at, and why the service has been so slack. I’m off for most of this week, travelling to do the IWC Peregrine Readings in Waterford and Cork, but hopefully things will return to normal when I get back. If you don’t hear from me, just presume that I finally made that crucial decision and started the new book, and that the writing is going incredibly well. Or that I finally tumbled into the Pit of Despair. Bonne chance, mes braves

9 comments:

EK said...

No need to apologize to this Regular Reader--especially if it means we get another book! Your comment on making a big decision about the main character reminds me of seeing the first draft of the courtroom novel Anatomy of a Murder. Robert Traver originally made the central character the prosecutor. He hadn't gone very far when he switched Paul Biegler to be the defense attorney, and created (IMHO) the best courtroom novel--and movie--ever. You made a daring choice with Harry Rigby in Slaughter's Hound--you seem to be pretty good at it.

Dana King said...

I know how you feel, though at a lower talent level. I abandoned the book I was working on last year when I realized I had the story set in the wrong series. Then I took off the summer before taking my sweet time coming up with an outline I could live with. (I never like them much, but I can't write without one.) I finally got the ball rolling late last week. The rhythm comes back, though I promised myself never to take so long a hiatus again. It really is like exercising. Everything feels stiff.

savannah said...

i'll be here when you return or at the bookstore picking up the new book! i wish you well, sugar! xoxo

(slacker that i am, i've been using the reader and not always visiting the site.) ;~)

Declan Burke said...

Hi Folks - Many thanks for the kind words and encouragement. I'm sure that if (when) I get into rhythm of the new book, the frequency of the CAP posts will pick up again. Here's hoping ... Cheers, Dec

michael said...

It is hard to understand why you continued to chose writing books that will please all of us and thousands and thousands of others, leading you to a life of fame and fortune, instead of writing free daily blog posts for your regular three readers who are impatiently waiting your next book.

I have you on my RSS reader. I never will miss a blog post. It doesn't matter if you update the blog every day or every time you have a book to sell, I'll be here to read it.

lil Gluckstern said...

Have a good tour, and we'll be here when you show up. A new book? (Clap hands!)

Michael Haskins said...

Am deep into your book and if you are not writing the blog I am thankful you are writing another book! Now if you'd only cross the water and sign in Key West, I could get my collection signed. Thanks for the fun and support and hurry over.

Peter Rozovsky said...

OK, we'll see yiz when yiz gets back.

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