Phew! I’m put in mind of a post not too long ago by Charles Stross (I’ve mentioned him before, so apologies if this is getting repetitive now) about misconceptions of a writer’s life: sadly, it’s not all about the writing.

It seems like writing a book is only a fraction of the actual effort it takes to get a book published – I’m reminded of Thomas Edison’s quote about genius being 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration rule. While I’m not claiming to be a genius, it certainly seems to apply if you’ve anything at all to do with the publishing trade. Once the book is written, then the real work starts.

Editing seems to take a lot of time, regardless of how connected everything seemed when it was being written. I’m finding that having readers who will give proper criticism (as opposed to repeating “It’s great!”) helps this process no end. It’s taken a while, but I’ve found a few people I can trust to read something I’ve written and give me feedback on it.

Then there’s the cover and quotes and making sure it gets publicised on the blog – this doesn’t go away when you have a publisher, either, it just gets more complicated and deadline driven. (Publishers are surprisingly poor at publicity, considering they’ve paid to print a book, you’d think they’d want to maximise their investment, but that’s a topic for another post I fear).

Anyway, all that to say I’ve been finalising my new novel, Death after Midnight, hence the silence for the last little bit. The first extract is available now for download here (link to PDF).

Oh, and I’ve rebuilt my site as well (if you hadn’t noticed), having got fed up with my Joomla site and giving in to the pressure to just do it in WordPress already. And a new portrait of the author – thanks Gordon! I think it all works better, but I’m still getting to grips with it and I’m sure I’ll hear if it doesn’t!