You may or may not know that I have spent any spare time that I've had over the last five years or so writing novels.
Writing novels is a bit like being a murderer. You fantasise about it. You visualise yourself doing it. But you can't quite believe that you could.
Then one day, something takes hold of you. You don't know what it is but you can't stop it. You just have to keep going, focussing entirely on the task in hand until eventually the deed is done. And now that you've done it once, it doesn't seem so daunting or scary. Now you've got the taste for it.
And so you do it again. And again.
But soon, that isn't enough. The buzz is fading. You need something else, some other rush to take you up to that high that you got the very first time.....
OK. I'll stop with the murder metaphor now (although I was quite enjoying myself!)
It's not as far-fetched as it might seem though. It does get easier each time you write a story of 80,000 plus words and eventually you really are left craving something more. In my case, it's not more dead bodies but a chance at publication.
But, until now my murders... (Sorry. Indulge me! I can't resist) ... have been slightly haphazard. I've not done a clean job. I've left clues, a trail a mile wide. I have only got away with it by keeping my activity secret. (Ok. Here the metaphor and I have to part company.)
Anyway, my novels are OK. People like to read them and say kind things about them but they aren't quite right. There is something missing, something that separates them from the novels that I read. I have known this from the start but I couldn't seem to work out what it was.
So I asked someone who knows.
I sent my story to a Literary Agent and paid her to tell me where I was going wrong. And it turns out that this was one of my better decisions. The report is back and it's great. Eleven pages of detailed feedback on what is working, what isn't, what could be improved, what should be improved. It's like a little jewelled box filled with treasure, an alchemist's chemistry kit, pure gold.
So, now I'm off again. I can take my baby story and feed it until it grows. I suspect this is going to be quite a lot harder than writing the first draft but I'm happy to give it a go. And if you're really lucky, I'll tell you all about it!
PS. I'm not really a serial killer.