A word from the Author ... Tony Forder


Dear Reader, 
I don’t know about other authors, but in this role I don’t feel as if I can look too far ahead. When I look back now, I wish I had come into this with a plan. I know some authors approach publication knowing exactly which path they are seeking to follow, and they work hard to make sure they are not diverted from it. I came into this na├»ve and clueless, got a great break which steered me in a certain direction, but also left me feeling that I was never quite in control of the tiller.

Bringing my DI Bliss novels into the world has been a truly wonderful experience, one I could never have imaged when I made my first tentative approaches to publication. But I think the fact that the series came about by accident rather than rigorous planning, means I’ve been running hard to catch up with myself. The series grew like Topsy, and when I finally felt comfortable with it I found myself unable to stop writing more.

For an author it’s a terrific ‘problem’ to have, but with it comes its own set of pressures. You wonder if, once your readership has found a level, it can expand further. Or, if you have to strike out in another direction in order to take that next vital step. My host today, Liz Mistry, has done precisely that, and has made an amazing success of it with her publishing contract. I’ve noticed others doing the same, and I now wonder if the time has come for me to commit myself to a fresh beginning.

Available here
These troubling and often devastating times we’re living through right now don’t make planning anything an easy task. In some ways I suppose we authors have suffered less than most, because our lives were pretty solitary anyway. But there has been a noticeable downturn in book purchases, and when money is tight and concentration laboured, we tend to turn to the familiar and take comfort from those guaranteed great reads rather than experimenting with relative newcomers. On 29 April, I will be three years old in publishing terms. A lot of words have flown beneath my fingers since then, but the one thing I’m pretty sure of right now is that this blasted virus will not feature in my future works.

None of us can be sure how we or the rest of the world will emerge from this – as we surely will. I expect we will all embrace each new rising sun with affection, as the summer shadows lengthen and sunset becomes ever more distant. When my current work in progress – yes, another DI Bliss novel – is finally handed over to my editor at the end of this month, I will take some time to look ahead. I’ve winged it so far. It’s been a thrilling three years, but if I want it to continue and even improve, I’m going to have to come up with a plan.

They say no plan survives first contact with the enemy. The only opponent here dwells inside my head. So I guess only time will tell as to which of us survives.

Comments