My novel The Kill Chain was published on July 16th 2022 by Darkstroke, and it effectively marked the closing of one chapter and the start of another. I’ve blogged earlier about my writing journey and the books I’ve written here and reading back, I’m astonished I have managed to write what I have, and to finally be published. I’ve been through watching the rankings, worrying about what others are doing and always feeling I could be doing more and have settled back to accepting I’m where I’m supposed to be at this stage. Any other stance is likely a route to madness.
It’s been wonderful to have people I don’t know get in touch to say how much they enjoyed the book. At this point I am pretty much removed from the actual story having read it countless times, so I forget that I was happy with the end result and yes, it is a great story. I am my own worst critic, and rarely feel I do good enough. Of course I know I won’t please everyone, but I know now, strangers are picking it up and enjoying it and taking the time to say so. Getting folk to leave a review is a problem for most writers, but I’m confident these will come over time. I’m in this for the long haul, and have no illusions that books can take time to sell, so I’m happy the ways things are going.
I have a fear of looking at the book again because I will look at a page and think how I could have written it differently. All writers go through this. Having said that, I have read the proof this week for the printed edition and actually having a printed copy in my hands was such a surreal moment I can’t really describe how I felt. Are there things I would change? Possibly, but I’m not going to dwell on it. From my perspective it looks great. My editor Sue Barnard, did a fantastic job on it and ended with a better novel than I could have imagined. You can always make changes, but this stage of my journey has taught me how to let go and move on to my next project.
I had a 17 year old Bowmore Single Malt whisky miniature sitting on my desk for the last decade or so. I always said I would open it when I was published. I did, and it tasted just how it should, and then some!
So what next? I have a short story being published in a Darkstroke Anthology later this year, one I worked on while The Kill Chain was being made ready for publication. I’m now drafting a sequel called The Kill Switch, and have slipped back into the early morning routine of getting words down on the page. Right now I have a better feeling about this novel than I did about The Kill Chain, which I found a difficult write. I am also reading through book one of The Clockmaker Conspiracy as I would love for this SciFi Fantasy series to become available. So, it’s business as usual. I’ve had my publication day and will keep on promoting it, while continuing to write with the intention of publishing more books in future. A simple plan when I say it like that!