Date Posted: 01/05/2015 | Category:
Author Name: L.R. Puttock
Book Title: A Desire for Vengeance
What inspired you to start writing?
I have always had a desire to be a writer and must have planned 100’s of novels and short stories in my mind over the years. However, it was only relatively recently that I put pen to paper – or more accurately, fingers to keyboard.
Throughout my career as a computer analyst/programmer and database designer my job was to develop and build structures that satisfied the firm’s requirements. The process is not unlike developing a plot and narrative so my creative needs were satisfied. Then they made me a manager and my opportunities for creativity were suddenly confined to status reports and staff appraisals.
I started to read even more than I had before, immersing myself in the works of Wilbur Smith, Frederick Forsyth, Bernard Cornwall, Richard Woodman and many others. Before long, I had exhausted the supply of adventure novels in my little local library. Left for a weekend without something to read, I began to write my own.
How long did your manuscript take to complete?
That is a more difficult question to answer than it appears. I began my first attempt in September 2009. It was going to be a short story about two work colleagues whose friendship develops into romance over a lunchtime picnic in the park. Once I had completed that, I wondered what might happen to them next. Soon the short story had a sequel. Then, somehow, a sinister character appeared and those two short stories turned into the first chapters of a spy novel: “Retiarius”. Then, in trying to give my female protagonist a shady past, I happened upon the terrible events of the Bosnian civil war. The “flashback” chapters that were supposed to form part of “Retiarius” took on a life of their own and became a full-length novel: “Operation Cevapi”, about an MI6/SAS mission to that country to capture a war criminal. Once again the Bosnian scenes were to be told in retrospect by the heroine during a hostile debriefing. Yet again I got sidetracked and developed the tale of what happened when my protagonist disobeyed orders and contacted her sister. Thus was born the only novel to be published so far: “A Desire for Vengeance”.
So, one whole book and 80% of two others were developed concurrently over about five years. During that time, my style has changed dramatically (hopefully for the better) and I am currently rewriting “Operation Cevapi” and “Retiarius” with the intention of publishing one later this year and the other next year.
Did you suffer from writer's block? If so what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling?
Yes. I am sure everyone suffers from writer’s block at some time. When it happens to me I reread chapters already written, often making changes to the sentence structure or the order in which information is disclosed. I find that gets my mind back into the story and inspires me to continue. If that doesn’t work, I might do some more research and gather more information and ideas. If all else fails, I take a break and find another book to read.
Do you wish you had to start to write sooner in life?
Very much so, but you can’t go back and change the past.
Any tips or advice for other authors out there wanting to self-publish?
Undoubtedly, Self Publishing is the way to go. Mainstream publishers are loath to take the risk of publishing anything from unknown authors. Several that I researched will not even accept manuscripts or applications direct from writers – only via established literary agents. Self Publishing need not be expensive – you can upload an e-book to Amazon Kindle or Kobo, for free. However, if, like me, you have a real desire to see one of your books, with your name on it, on your own bookshelf, then this can be achieved for a relatively small outlay.
How did you find the process of self publishing with Spiderwize?
I was heading in the direction of literally self-publishing and had discussed options with several print companies. To do this I would have had to purchase a batch of ten ISBN numbers, generated a bar-code, supplied artwork, etc, etc, etc. Then, I found out about Spiderwize. For roughly the same cost as I was expecting to pay for printing alone, they would handle all that “stuff” for me.
Throughout the process, their publishing and editorial staff were fantastic. They guided me through every stage, offering advice and support and continued to do so even after the publishing process was complete. I will have no hesitation in using their services again when I am ready to publish my next two novels.