Writing is by necessity a generally lonely profession. You don’t get that many outgoing authors but the introverted writer is almost a stereotype. I’m quite happy writing by myself if I don’t have anything else to do then I can generally be found on my computer from about 6 am until 7 pm or later. Often I don’t even put the radio on, let alone watch any television. I have thought of writing my next book in a more public place but the act of writing itself still really requires solitude and not watching, listening or talking to anyone in your immediate vicinity.
Longtime readers of my blog will know that my first book(s) made up an epic historical romantic adventure series collectively entitled The Timeless Trilogy. It took a long time to write those and I wanted more books to my name than three or four epic trilogies before the end of my life. So I decided to write some history and other factual books that I found very quick to write but also offered a different style of writing and one that I hoped would help complete my apprenticeship as a writer.
I found it interesting I could write a complete history of WW1, perhaps the most complicated historical topic in 2 or 3 months and yet it take me 2 or 3 years for each novel. When I say interesting, I mean annoying! I always firmly believed I wanted to write everything and not get stuck in a genre rut but around a year ago I had a yearning to write another novel or indeed series of novels. However, I knew that I couldn’t spend 7 years writing another trilogy and would only write a novel if I thought it could be a big success and if I could have lots of fun doing so.
I had the idea of writing a contemporary novel which required minimal research and wasn’t in anyway epic. I always liked vigilante stories and films, not one that is excessively violent. In the 1920’s-50’s, there was a very popular type of publishing known as Pulp. It could be science-fiction or it could police and crime related or even superhero. The film, “Pulp Fiction” is generally inspired by the term but it isn’t by itself indicative of what Pulp should be. Wikipedia defines it as
directly involves characters living bleak existences to accomplish a goal with odds against them, pulp noir often portrays a grittier, one-man army. Typically, the main character has no distinguishing abilities, but can hold ground against seemingly impossible odds. Pulp noir locations are often seedy, run-down and degradated urban landscapes, where the lack of law, morals and even the proliferation of crime and drugs are common themes. Another common trend in pulp noir is the glorification and/or demonization of its urban locations.
The Pulp aspect comes from the fact that the books and magazines were printed on low-quality pulp paper. These types of publications fell out of favour due to paper shortages after WW2 but are now of course very popular in film and literature as the genre has taken off.
Anyway to have something different, I wanted a heroine to be the star of the book and to make it, even more, special, I pictured the heroine being British Asian. I thought that would make it interesting and maybe make people challenge their pre-conceptions from both white and Asian communities. Plus, of course, living in London provides an almost limitless range or settings, characters and situations.
Luckily for me, one of my friends, Ru, generally matched my idea of what my leading lady should look like and when she asked me what I was writing on, she asked that I make her the protagonist. This also gave us the opportunity to mess around with ideas and photo shoots for book covers and promotions (her husband is a very talented photographer who created a dozen potential book covers) and it was such a fun time that I ended up writing the entire book in much less than a year, whilst still writing my poetry and horrible tortures book whilst doing so.
My friend kept my morale up and she has found herself in some way immortalised in a novel, well a trilogy. In many ways it was a collaboration, yes I did all the writing but things would have been very different if I had written it in isolation. She very kindly says my writing deserves much higher exposure and she wants to help me gain it and having read the rough drafts, we both agree it is my best yet but is also very approachable and easy to get into.
One of the best experiences of writing V1 Vixen was getting to know my friend and actually having fun which we all know is really hard as adults with jobs and commitments. Despite being friends for nearly 20 years, we’ve had more fun in this 1 year than the previous 19 put together.
I’ve written before about how important book promotional videos ( You can see all my videos here on my Amazon Page) are and with some inspiration from my friend, we decided to film a life-action trailer. It must be said, all of this was done on my iPad in less than an hour and with no script or experience at all. Another hour on the iMac the next day and it was as complete as I could get it.
As my friend Ru put it so well, from an idea, a unique storyline is born. Through collaboration, great friendship is formed. The result….
In a few days time I will write a post about the ideas and theme of V but for the moment, I am in the middle of proofreading, editing and re-writes!
If you’re on Facebook you can follow our progress with news and exclusives by liking our V Trilogy Page
If you like the video, do let me know! Also feel free to share anything and everything about my upcoming V1 novel.