Writing a book

Several readers have commented about my lack of recent activity on my blog.  I have to apologise for this, I’ve been quite busy writing my first novel. It’s a thriller and it’s turning out to be a quite enthralling experience.  I am now up to Chapter 28, although the chapters are quite short as it moves around with different characters,  I reckon it’s about the 180 page mark now.  I have no idea how to get this in front of an agent or a publisher at this stage, I’m just enjoying the creative experience of writing again.  It’s unusual for me to write fiction, although some might argue that journalists write fiction all the time.  I was always very proud of my former efforts on magazines for being fun and engagement, but strictly factual.  Perhaps that is why I’m having so much find with this novel.  For  starters…I get to kill people…

Here is a snippet from the start of the first chapter:


Coffee shops are ten-a-penny now, more popular than pubs, but that’s not always a help to a connoisseur tea drinker. She could count the number of coffee’s she had drunk since January on the fingers of one hand, and it was now late September and she had had two in the last week for some reason. Over the last few days the wind had swung around to the north, and the late summer sunshine of the previous week had now been replaced by a pale light and accompanied by definitive drop in the average temperature.

Like last week, she was sitting outside the cafe rather than inside. Now a lone figure, this time wrapped against the cold and nursing a cup between two hands. Wearing her fingerless gloves, the heat of her black coffee initially burned the exposed flesh of her fingers, but she wanted as much to keep the coffee warm as much as it warmed her hands. The cafe had removed some of the tables, and she would have only had three other people outside with her at most, and then only if she had shared her table with another person. During the summer there were a dozen tables but now they just catered for the odd smokers. She didn’t smoke, although she once had.

She watched people passing by, most of them taking no interest in her, but a few looking at her oddly. They glanced surreptitiously, and usually quickly, and she guessed at the thoughts in their for her sitting outside in the cold when the inside of the cafe looked so much more inviting. Perhaps they thought she was a foreigner come from a colder climate, or that she had a hangover, as she didn’t have a cigarette. A little Jack Russell attempted a hello and the man on the other end of the lead looked like he didn’t know if he should pull his dog away from the possibly crazy woman, to pity her for what he figured might be her ‘situation’, or just maybe, to say hello. In the end she patted the dogs head and smiled at the man and he smiled back, and then hurried on his way. He didn’t look back even though her eyes followed him briefly down the street and she was sure that he knew that. He shrugged his shoulders at one point as if a sudden chillier wind had caught him.

Maybe she was a little odd and a little paranoid, but she was pretty certain they had followed her to this coffee shop before, and today that they had done so again. Nowhere seemed to be out from under the prying eyes now, but then maybe she just had the jitters after so many years. She knew she was lying to comfort herself, and she also knew it didn’t really work either. One day someone was going to have to make a move, she just didn’t knew who, or when, or even why. She has some suspicions but this life had been going on for so long it was almost normal now….