Monday, 16 March 2015


Am I the only person who hasn’t read the book, seen the film or pre-ordered the DVD? I’ve read enough extracts and reviews to know that this book isn’t for me. I can’t take it seriously. Is it a joke? Am I right in thinking the author described male genitalia as ‘his essentials’– something I associate with my weekly shop? That term gets me wondering if my other half’s got enough bread for his packed lunch. I consider water to be a necessity like milk, eggs, butter - wine. I don’t expect to find Christian Grey’s meat-and-two-veg in the refrigeration cabinet when I’ve nipped into Asda for a litre of semi-skimmed. Perhaps they’d sit comfortably on every Good-For-You aisle, but in my opinion, the author should have written the word ‘penis’ to avoid confusion.

Maybe, I should jump on the band wagon, get hold of some mummy porn and see if I can write it any better? I do wonder why I’ve spent so much time editing and revising crime plots when I could write about groceries in a very telling, rather than showing way. As long as there’s enough hype surrounding a book, you could write about anything from frozen peas to chips - describe the cut as wrinkle instead of crinkle, if that’s what takes your fancy, but make sure there’s plenty of sauce.

I can categorically state that originality is a luxury, and most unpublished authors can’t afford to indulge. If we want our novels to get on the shelves we must work within the confines of genre and marketing. This is why I spent the majority of 2014 analysing the best way to adapt my first novel for crime. I needed to discover whether my ideas were commercial, so I scrutinised the competition. I didn’t find my work in hundreds of other books - not even two! It just wasn’t in-vogue. The first-person narrative was perhaps, a little too experimental. The protagonist had to become perpetrator or victim if it was ever going to slot into crime. I needed time to think. I’d already written a conventional police procedural, but I didn’t want this to become my breakthrough novel. I began work on a domestic noir, but I couldn’t shelve my first book. I felt compelled to get the story out. So I played around with the protagonist’s voice, taking the character from the novel and into scripts.   

I’ve waited this long to become a published author, so I can wait a bit longer. I’ve been very patient, getting the stories right. Maybe, before the end of the year, I might be in a position to submit novels again. I’m looking forward to working with people I can trust, in an environment that thrives on fresh perspectives, but for the time being, I’m enjoying ‘freedom’ far too much. I want to indulge in a little uncensored creativity. I’m turned on by innovation not ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. 

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