You think that once you have written a book and it has been published that you move onto the next one and that's it. But I’ve had to put the new one on hold this week to put together the ‘extra’ material for the American paperback of The Sound of Butterflies, which comes out in October. I am certainly not complaining about this – it’s a great fun project, and I still feel a lot of affection for that novel so don’t mind discussing it all again. And I feel very privileged to be in this position at all. It just feels a little odd because I first had the idea for the book in 2001. I wasn’t able to start work on it until I had finished my MA in Creative Writing at Victoria, which took me to early 2002. I had to put it all aside halfway through 2003 as I had hit rock bottom on the finances and needed to get a full time job just to live on (let alone begin to pay back the huge debt that had mounted from trying to write a novel). I wasn’t able to pick it up again until the beginning of 2005, but I worked like a demon and had the novel finished by mid-2005.
And here I am nearly 3 years after I finished it – 7 years after I had the idea (one fifth of my life!) – still having to think about it. Going back and visiting in my mind the writing process and all the research I did, which is all a bit of a blur if I’m honest!
I am so excited about my new one, and have set myself such high standards for it (must…be…better…) that I hope I’m not kidding myself that I will get it finished by next March. Even then, I guess that means I could still be talking about it in 2012. Maybe I need to become more prolific, as I suppose having a new book gives you something new to talk about, and each one knocks the last one out of the way. Or is it more like the song ‘Ten in the Bed’ and you need to write a whole lot before ‘one fell out’ and you stop talking about the first?
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