I have recently signed a contract with my publisher (Choc Lit) for what will be my third book with them, my fourth altogether. It wasn’t the heart thump excitement of the first contract, but it was a long way from routine. I’m not sure when, if ever, I’ll feel like a ‘proper’ writer. Is it on the tenth? The twentieth? Never?
So what of this next book, for which I’m eagerly awaiting the first round of edits? It’s a departure from my others…no, no, I’ve not gone into science fiction or crime. It’s still very much a romance, but this time I deliberately chose the setting. The first three books (and others I’ve worked on since) all began with the characters. It was they who determined what they did and how they met, hence ultimately deciding where the book was based. But his next book came from my desire to write about something I knew. The pharmaceutical industry. I’d loved researching law (Too Charming) and refugee champs (Do Opposites Attract) but there was always the worry that I hadn’t worked in either, so I didn’t really know what I was talking about. Nothing new there I can hear some of you mutter.
‘The Pharma Book’ is how I first referred to it. In those early days it wasn’t a romance or even a story. Just a book set in the industry I’d worked in for over twenty years. Here are some capsules, which are only a fraction of what that industry is about, but do help break up the monotony of all this text…
The trouble was, because I wasn’t starting from characters I’d lovingly developed, but from a setting I knew, I struggled to get the book off the ground. It was only when I took myself out of it – stopped thinking of the places I’d worked in, and the people I’d worked with – that my imagination cranked into action and the book took off in my head.
So for readers of this blog who I’ve been fortunate to work with – relax. There will be nobody you can identify in this book. The joy of being a fiction writer is making things up. I don’t want a hero based on someone I know (oops, if my husband is reading this, of course they’re all based on you, sweetie). I want something more. I want a fantasy. The same goes for my heroine, and the others who feature in the book. There’s no fun for me in writing about real life, when the stuff in my head is so much more interesting.
I don’t have timelines for Search for the Truth yet (I hope that sounds better than The Pharma book, though Choc Lit may decide to improve it further). Fingers crossed it will be out in the next couple of months, but watch this space for dates and the cover reveal.
I may not be a ‘proper’ writer, but I am a very chuffed one