Friday, 4 October 2013

A writer reads

Is it wrong to read your own book and ... enjoy it?

Well, I'm about to go out on a limb here and admit that I did just that.

Not for reasons of vanity or anything mind, and I didn't plan it.

You see, what happened was that I was on a train, reading an excellent book by Diana Gabaldon on my Kindle. I came to the end of the book with still half an hour to go on my journey so I thought I'd start another book.

I have set my Kindle up with folders: books-I-have-downloaded-but-not-yet-read, books-I've-read-and-enjoyed, books-I've-tried-to-read-and-abandoned - that sort of thing.

I went into the books-I-have-downloaded-but-not-yet-read folder and found a copy of Torn that I'd downloaded some months ago to see how it looked and if there were any problems with it.

So here I was on the train with half an hour to spare. I clicked to open the Torn file and began to read.

Of course I've read my book before. I must have read it a hundred times, but in chunks. I've read it as a process of writing and editing, and I've read it to tidy up a section, re-write a section that has bugged me, perhaps revisit a section to check on its consistency and continuity ... the sort of stuff you do when you're putting together a book.

Over the years of writing Torn, I must have read it cover to cover perhaps two or three times, and those times were purely for editing and consistency's sake, making changes along the way.

I have never read Torn for the pure enjoyment of reading a book.

Well now I have.

When people asked me why I wrote Torn and a book like Torn, I always said - and it's the truth - that I wrote a book that I would like to read myself. But until that point I'd never actually tested that theory.

Having read it I can honestly say: I loved Torn. There it is - I've said it!
I read it from electronic cover to electronic cover and I couldn't put it down. Even though I knew what was coming, I still couldn't stop reading it.

Is that wrong? Is it a bit weird, do you think?

I got to the end and thought, oh geeze, I need to read the sequel. The sequel, Inviolate, is due to be published early in 2014. But the feedback I'm getting from Torn fans is the same impatience to read Inviolate that I felt.

I've received pleas and demands from people desperate to read Inviolate and find out what happens. And now I'm one of them.

But even though I know what happens, I still want to read it! What's with that? It feels a little bit sneaky, a bit deliciously naughty...

I told my publicist the other day that I'd read my own book and enjoyed it and she laughed her head off! She didn't think it was weird.

So now it's out there. I have read my own book and enjoyed it. I can't wait for the sequel.

But it's going to be a while yet because Jane Woodhead - my remarkable editor - is yet to wave her magic wand over the manuscript. And then the publishing work will begin. I can't wait!

Me and Torn - I suppose it would be weirder if I didn't like my book!

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