Today I’m taking part in the blog blitz for Never Rest by Jon Richter and I’ll be sharing a guest post from the author!
About the book:
Chris Sigurdsson has left the police force to start his own detective agency in London. He and his assistant, Priya, have built a strong reputation, and their casebook for the coming months is full. But Sigurdsson’s mind drifts back to his time as a Detective Inspector, and to the surreal week he spent investigating a case on Salvation Island.
When the estranged wife of David Lithgow, a writer who had been working on the island, approaches him to help locate her missing spouse, he cannot resist the allure of that sinister, mist-shrouded place…
The case leads him back to Salvation Island and into a treacherous labyrinth of deceit.
Is there a link between the mysterious proprietor of a travelling freak show and the malevolent spectre of a vicious serial murderer who butchered six young women on the island?
Has the killer continued his murderous spree from beyond the grave, or is there a copycat on the loose?
To solve this case, Sigurdsson will need to enter the mind of a sadistic serial killer and unravel the island’s darkest secrets. And if he wants to survive, he must confront his deepest fears.
Click HERE to get your copy!
About the author:
Jon Richter lives in London and spends most of his time hiding in the guise of his sinister alter ego, an accountant called Dave. When he isn’t counting beans, he is a self-confessed nerd who loves books, films and video games – basically any way to tell a good story. Jon writes whenever he can and hopes to bring you more dark tales in the very near future. If you want to chat to him about this, or about anything at all, you can find him on Twitter @RichterWrites; he’d also love it if you would check out his website at www.jon-richter.com.
A ‘normal’ writing day
Although I have been writing since I was about six, I still think of myself as a ‘new’ writer – certainly in the world of publishing. My debut thriller was released last year and my new book, Never Rest, will be released at the end of March, and I’m still slowly figuring out how to navigate the labyrinths of social media, self-promotion, blog tours, book launch events… and I certainly don’t think I’ve got it anywhere near sussed out yet!
Another thing I am yet to figure out is exactly how a ‘normal’ writing day should work… writing sessions for me are often snatches of time squeezed in to an evening after work, a hasty half-hour on the commute, some garbled ideas types into the Notes app of my phone when I wake up after a particularly intriguing nightmare… but, whenever I can, I do like to try to set aside an entire day to focus on writing, and I thought it would be interesting to talk you through what usually happens on such days. Having read similar posts by other writers I get the impression that there is a HUGE variety of different preferred approaches, which I find fascinating… and ultimately I suppose it’s about finding whatever works for you. All that really counts is the number of words that have been spawned by the end of it!
Most writing days for me usually start with a feeling of dread, as though I’m about to sit an exam; because of my busy full-time job and other commitments it’s always a challenge to carve out such a chunk of time, and I find the weight of this precious day often hangs over me until I finally get going. This starting point can often be delayed by several hours due to chronic procrastination – sometimes I go for a run first, ‘to wake myself up’, and other times I’ll decide that the house needs a thoroughly good tidy before I can concentrate properly. Another favourite distraction comes in the shape of the two ragdoll cats we own, who will often decide on writing days that they will be extra-cute and distract me with lots of insistent meowing and cuddly behaviour… or they will be possessed by Satan and start hurtling around the house, trashing the place. As you can see, there are many potential pitfalls! But if I am successful in navigating all of these, the final step before I can get cracking is to make the obligatory cup of coffee (I invested in an espresso machine a few years ago and it was definitely money well spent), and choose some background music.
I am a huge music fan and am still resisting the urge to join the Spotify generation – I like to OWN the songs I enjoy, so I still buy albums the old-fashioned way (although I have accepted that some of them might need to be downloaded rather than physically purchased from shops, I still make a habit of then burning off physical CD copies of these to pointlessly store in my attic). However, I’ve found lately that a lot of the stuff I own and love doesn’t make for ideal writing accompaniment (e.g. Mark E Smith ranting over a nasty, crunching guitar and keyboard din) so I often turn instead to ambient music, in other words something more relaxed and without lyrics, and ideally with a dark edge to help create the sort of ominous atmosphere I’m looking for in my writing. Some of Aphex Twin’s output is ideal for this, as are the sinister soundscapes that Akira Yamaoka created for the Silent Hill videogame series.
Once this important choice has been made, I will finally get to work on that day’s project. These days I am lucky enough to have a spare room with a little writing desk, and I do find this infinitely preferable to trying to write in bed or on the couch (or squeezed onto a train, although sometimes this is still a necessity!) I write on my laptop, as I’ll constantly edit, chop and change as I write, such that the finished draft is usually of decent quality rather than needing major surgery; I’ve heard lots of people say, ‘forget editing, just get the first draft finished’, and I’m sure this is good advice, but I just can’t bring myself to work in that way. This means that progress is gradual, a sort of slow, creeping word count increase rather than an unfiltered splurge – although I’ll usually end up with somewhere around three or four thousand words done by the end of the day. I really do have absolutely no idea how anyone ever wrote anything before word processors were invented, and I’m full of admiration for the authors of decades gone by who had nothing to work with but their pen, paper, imagination, and maybe a handy thesaurus!
I will write for as long as I can before hunger overcomes me, and then I’ll head downstairs to figure out some sort of snack – this can often result in more procrastination if a trip to the shop becomes necessary. The day will then proceed very much in that pattern: a burst of writing, maybe leading me off on a tangent to research something, then a break to eat or make more coffee, then another burst of writing, and so on until either it’s really late and I’m falling asleep at my desk, or I’m so happy with my output that I decide I can smugly call it a day (this rarely happens!)
If my partner isn’t busy she will sometimes pop in to check on me, and I suspect I look a bit of a bizarre sight, hunched over my laptop and typing feverishly while eerie music swirls in the background, my internet search history encompassing various horrifying murder cases, unsolved mysteries and other dark inspirations… but hopefully the finished novel is worth it in the end!
Check out the other blogs taking part: