I'm often asked if I get writer's block and while I haven't suffered this there are days when the words flow and the inspiration seems to come from an unknown source within me, and there are also days when it's a struggle to find the right words and know how to advance the plot. Every writer deals with this differently. Me? Well there are three ways I tackle this, depending on my mood (and the weather):
1. I keep writing, bashing anything out on the keyboard even though I know it will be rubbish because often at some stage in the process it will start to improve and inspiration will come to me.
2. I pick up my knitting needles and allow my mind to wander and mull over the characters and the plot, until something strikes me and refreshed I go back to the keyboard.
3.I put on my walking boots and strike out along the shores of the Solent, around the harbours of Chichester, Langstone and Portsmouth and over the hills of the Isle of Wight, all locations for my marine mystery crime novels featuring DI Horton and of my thrillers. Physical exercise helps to stimulate the little grey cells and it's also good to get away from the computer for a while.
For the last few months I've been working on the next in the DI Andy Horton series, (number eight, as yet untitled)) and have finished the first draft. This now needs a great deal more work on it before I am anywhere near satisfied, but it is slowly but surely coming together. Over the next three months I will be revising the plot and sub plots, developing the characters and making sure that everything hangs together, before going through it again and checking the structure, the phrases, the words.
Meanwhile, at some stage this autumn A Killing Coast (number seven in the DI Horton series) will be returned to me by my editor for checking the copy edits and proof reading. It is now a while since I read it, I only hope I don't want to change it! Until then it's on with DI Andy Horton number eight.
A Killing Coast is scheduled for publication in hardback by Severn House in January 2012.