My new book is out on Thursday August 27th, that's this week. My agent says it's the best thing I've done in years. She doesn't always say that. Actually the book I'm just finishing would never have been finished if it hadn't been for her. Thank God for agents and editors and all those people who never seem to get the credit. Books should be like films, with credits at the end, all those people who worked so hard, the people who design the cover, the printers, the on line folk, those who do the big print and audio books, the booksellers, the librarians, the secretaries who hold the publishing houses together, those people who have to decide how much the book should cost, whether it should be hardback or paperback or an ebook, the poor damned accountants who get blamed for everything,
A work of fiction is a team effort so next time you see the author think of all the other poor buggers who have to put with it all as well.
There is an element of luck with any published book. Sometimes it just takes off. We live in hope. The genres change, people have new ideas, some people have old-new ideas and it's difficult to tell which way the wind is blowing or whether you can make it blow your way.
I don't think at the moment there are many books with a woman doctor as the main character. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe there are but I didn't write it for that reason. I wrote it, as my agent would say, because it was the book only I could write. I longed to write it. I just hope people like it and that we didn't all sweat and work all that time for some mean bugger to think it's too expensive when the download is little more than a Starbucks' coffee.
Some people think nothing of paying forty quid for a pair of shoes but get upset when a book costs more than a fiver. You get a lot for your money with a book. It has a lot of mouths to feed and strangely we aren't doing it for the fun of it, we do expect to get paid. If people want me to write books for nothing I shall give up and stay in bed in the mornings and read a lot and eat more cream cakes. And be poor and not care. They are not getting me for nothing. The labourer is always worthy of his hire. Nobody should do stuff for nowt, not in business. It's false economy and of no use for our self respect.
I'm not a vain writer. I don't think I should have been Jane Austen or E.L.James. I don't mind that i'm not brilliant and that I'm not a millionaire.What the hell would I do with it all? I could give it to water aid of course. That's what I would do or like Catherine Cookson did and gave most of her money to the Newcastle hospitals. That's what a lot of money's for, I think.
Anyway, it is all right, the book, I laughed and cried over it, we all worked so hard. It isn't a work of genius, it's an honest attempt to get something right and to hope that somebody likes it.
I like the main character, Prue Stanhope, I admire how brave she is and that she does her best and that she's out there as woman all are. We've giving it rock all and that's what we can do.
So I do hope you might read and like it and if not there are thousands of other books out there and a whole load of other folk have sweated blood over them so go for something else, something you enjoy. I love to read crime. I'm happy with Peter May and Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson and a dozen more. They make my life better. They make me happy.