Yesterday we celebrated the launch of DEVIL'S KISS with a great big party in the park. It's totally self-gratifying, but what the hell, do you really need an excuse for a party? Especially one with medieval knights?
The Knights of Longshank provided security and the entertainments so a great big shout to Neil and his gang. They fought through rain, wind and lots of screaming children. True Templars.
It was great so many turned up, from Greenhouse, SCBWI, Puffin and from my old life as an engineer and all periods of the last 40 or so years of my existence. Tony, who read the VERY VERY FIRST draft of what eventually became DEVIL'S KISS, Steve and the Bigger Betty crew who first led me into the heady world of publishing with Krane, as well as the guiding gurus of my writing career, Lins and Sarah.
Speeches were spoken and I took the opportunity to, basically, give myself a huge pat on the back. Everyone clapped politely then carried on drinking.
Okay, a few other things have come up. I will be adding this to the website shortly, but will kick off now: FAQ...
1. How long did it take to write DEVIL'S KISS? Four years of totally trial and error. At first it was completely amateur but after about 3 years it was approaching something almost publishable. Another year then I got an agent. Then more work.
2. How long is it? About 60-65,000 words. My aim is to produce a story that doesn't waste time, yours or the characters. Things are desperate throughout and the clock is ticking towards disaster. I wanted to get that sort of urgency in the writing so made it as lean and mean as possible. Some of the best feedback I've had is people have ploughed through it in a single night. Some have missed their train stop and that's very satisfying.
3. How do I get published? Write loads. Learn. Don't give up and enter competitions. It worked for me.
4. Who's my favourite author and why? It changes but recently it's been John Connolly and Philip Reeve. JC because of the creepy terror of Book of Lost Things (major influence on The Dark Goddess) and PR for the Mortal Engines series. Utterly awesome. For setting, for characters you really love and for not taking the easy way out. And I forgive him for being Book of the Month the same month I came out. Oh well. Fever Crumb is brilliant and I'm trying to read it slowly, to make it last.