Splendid Isolation

I guess if ever there was a good time to write a book it’s right now!

As the government enforced Coronavirus lock down pushes on towards the end of it’s first month my work on the first draft MS for ThoroughgoodVI, ‘The Hammer’ is hitting the 80,000 word mark, which means I am fast entering the final furlong of Gus’ latest adventure.

I know that every author will have his or her own way of doing things and over the last few years my year has roughly evolved in two halves.

I tend to write for the first part with an average MS of between 85-10000 words taking around 4-5 months.

While the second half of the year tends to be dominated by my tours with WHSmith.

When I finished last year’s tour with Thoroughgood V, The Blood Acre, in Perth on Christmas Eve, with 1018 sales after 22stops, I was most definitely all signed out!

For previous books I have tended to do my writing between 6am and 8am and aimed for around 1000 words a session but this time I have adopted a more flexible approach.

Clearly being confined to barracks isn’t a bad thing when you are trying to write a book, but it is also vital to burst out of your bubble and enjoy a bit of social interaction, exercise and the odd pint!

Not being able to enjoy a coffee at my favourite haunts of The Jam Jar in Bridge of Allan or Stirling’s Caffe Nero is a pleasure I miss sorely as is a game of squash and a pint of Guinness at Bridge of Allan Sports Club!

Instead my old bike has been dusted down and thankfully in deepest, darkest Stirlingshire, I am not short of scenic routes on my doorstep!

Returning to The Hammer I have found this particular Thoroughgood outing a challenge to write as its 90% set in 1990 Manchester… a place I am not familiar with at a time when I was otherwise engaged pounding the streets of Glasgow’s Blackhill and Springburn areas!

But I find that locations can help shape and inspire my writing and thanks to the internet I have uncovered some very interesting places which play key parts in the novel like The Lass O’Gowrie Pub, the famous enchanted forests of Cheshire’s Alderley Edge, and the Hacienda night club which I have appropriated and renamed for my own purposes as ‘Reds’

If you catch my regular tweets on @spitfiremedia or facebook posts on rjmitchell, you will be aware that music is massive for me in my writing!

I am an unashamed fan of Radio2 legends Johnnie Walker, Tony Blackburn and Gary Davies!

But particularly when I write action scenes the soundtrack in the background is always metal while the Motorhead song entitled ‘The Hammer’ is where I got the idea for the title of my new novel!

All things being equal I hope publication will be in August or September thanks to my friends at Matthew James Publishing.

It is my plan to blog regularly over the coming months and until next time #StaySafe!



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