This month saw my name go into print. Not on my own novel, but as part of a collaboration with a chap from my village. The aim? To write a novella, no more than 20,000 words, set in and around our village in Somerset. Other than a poem by Wordsworth, called Anecdote for Fathers, there has been no literature set in Kilve. We planned to change that and raise funds for our village newspaper in the process.
I have never written with anyone before, all the work prior to this has been strictly a solo affair, and the difference was quite interesting. Olaf Chedzoy, the brains behind the novella, already had a set plot, structure and cast of characters in mind but needed help to write it. I happily agreed and so the process of creating the novella began, where my role was essentially to write roughly a third of the narrative, concentrating on a pair of characters in their late sixties who become obsessed with unearthing the true intentions of an inquisitive newcomer.
Overall it was a very different experience, as I am used to having full control over everything. I imagine it must be similar to ghost writing; you have to adopt a style and characters that you may not have necessarily chosen yourself, as well as a plot which is far from my normal domain of psychological thrillers. But I learnt a great deal; how to better write for a select audience, how to merge my ideas with someone else and how to interpret those ideas into the written word.
Happily our little venture is a success; we’ve sold over half the copies printed in the first week and those who have read it have enjoyed it. My name is in print, and the readers (who, let’s face it, are the most important factor here) are happy. What more can you ask for?*
*A publishing deal
*A Sunday Times Bestseller