Monday, 6 February 2012

It's a Real Crime

In the last few days, all eager to get going, I’ve started a new novel. This is despite getting emails from two agents saying they are sad, but they’re passing on the opportunity to take my other one. This is not good news, but there are plenty others I tell myself - sticking stamps on the envelopes of the next batch - maybe this time ...
But still, it hasn’t helped to learn the public has developed a taste for reading crime over romantic fiction. It seems Public Lending Rights, who monitor what goes on in our public libraries, maintain Crime Fiction has overtaken Romantic Fiction in the library popularity stakes. Apparently what we want in these gritty social and economic times, is even grittier fiction. We’ve thrown over the chance of a 'will she won’t she,' good story, followed by a smoochy happy ending, in favour of yarns about the slayings of schoolgirls and other bloody thrillers of the likes written by James Patterson .
And if that’s not enough for me to deal with, a friend recently asked if she could read one of my short stories. Ignoring the publishers habitually repeated dictum, “The only person who gets a free copy is your mother,” I offered her A Cat About the House, recently published in the anthology, Its Never too Late to Fall in Love
 You’d think I was being seditious even offering it.
“What! I didn’t realise you wrote Romantic Fiction – Why?”
When friends respond like that, why indeed? Well to make money wouldn’t go amiss – not that at the moment there's much chance. I love doing it, sounds a bit weak and self indulgent, but its true, I really do. Getting stuck into writing a story is akin to going on holiday to my way of thinking. But in truth, I want others to have a good time, forget about their troubles for a short while and enjoy reading what I write. If I achieve that, then I'll have achieved the greatest thrill from writing.