Thursday, 26 June 2008

New book. New man. New routine.

I’m so excited about this one. This is the book I’ve been itching to write since January when I was struggling to finish the troublesome Olivier’s story (Taken for Revenge, Bedded for Pleasure) and the idea came to me fully formed, in a flash of clarity and inspiration while putting on mascara. (That part is purely coincidental I should mention. The plot is in no way mascara-related.) I nearly poked my eye out in my haste to grab a pen and get it down before it slipped away.

So, after the excesses of Dublin I’m back in the White Chair of Creativity (as Rachel calls it) with pictures of my new hero pinned up all over the place. I’m liking him lots—and not just because I saw him in the (extremely lovely) flesh last week and he smiled at me, though I’m sure that this can only make the writing flow more easily. I first fell in love with Henry Cavill in Tristan and Isolde, when he looked dark, dangerous and delicious—as well as excitingly dirty...

But now I've seen how he looks when he’s scrubbed up I'm even more smitten...

So far, so gorgeous-- I’m feeling totally positive about the new book and the new man. It’s the new routine I’m less happy about.

I’m not a big fan of change. In fact, it’s pretty true to say that I embrace change with about the same level of enthusiasm with which I’d hug a man-eating shark, but sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and do these things. (Fortunately so far I’ve never been in a situation where physical contact with sharks is necessary... obviously.) My latest deadline nightmare of sixteen hour days (which coincided with the children being off for half term) punctuated by regular heart palpitations and adrenaline rushes and fuelled by a diet of sugar and caffeine convinced me that something has to change in the way I handle this writing life. So, with the summer holidays yawning like a vast chasm between here and the next deadline I’m following the advice of the brilliant (and endlessly kind) Michelle Styles and planning to stick to a slow and steady thousand words a day. I have this dreadful kind of guilt thing that says that because I’m a working writer I have to spend every available moment at my keyboard, and this has turned me into a miserable recluse who dives under the desk whenever the phone rings (If I hear it, that is. Mostly I have music on so loudly that this isn’t an issue.) I’ve come to the conclusion I need to work less, but more efficiently. And also go out for more coffee and boozy lunches with friends, and bake more fairy cakes with the children.

The theory sounds fabulous, doesn’t it? Now, let’s see if it works.


Tracy said...

Hey India,

I’ve finally made it to your blog!

OMG – 16 hours a day! No wonder I didn’t make my deadline. I thought I was doing well at 10.

Henry is gorgeous! Mmmm, that jaw, that mouth! Can I share?

India said...

Great to see you here Tracy! (Can I say it's about time too!!)

I really can't recommend the 16 hour days and think that 10 is pushing it slightly too! Sometimes you just have to stop and 'refill the well' as Michelle says. (This is the bit where you get to bake fairy cakes or go out for coffee!)

(Oh, and of course you can share Henry, but I have to warn you I might not be finished with him for a looooong time....)


Amanda Ashby said...

Oooh, we can compare notes because when I finish this nightmare book, I swear I'm getting a new process. Mind you, I was thinking of one where I just sort of tap mindlessly at the keyboard and when I open my eyes the chapters will just be written, but if that fails, I might try your way!!!!

Tracy said...

Ok, thanks, India. I can wait. Just don't be too greedy and wear him out, please!

In the meantime, I've got my own Italian hunk I'm wrestling with.

Nell said...

I try to do 1k a day but sadly I get easily sidetracked.

Kate Hardy said...

Pacing's definitely the key. I try to do a little more than 1k a day to build in extra time so that if real life gets in the way (sick children etc) I can take time off without panicking. You'll find you're more productive that way, too. (I could be quoting my current M&B heroine *g*)

And cake... oh, that sounds good.

India said...

Oooh yes, Amanda, I'm liking the sound of that. In fact, I'm sure it must be possible to, like, wire up your brain or something, to cut out the necessity for typing at all and make all your thoughts flow freely onto the screen. (On second thoughts... maybe not such a great idea...)

Tracy-- you can't leave us hanging on like that! Do you use pictures of your characters? (and if so, SHARE!!)

Nell and Kate, what I'm slightly concerned about is that the 1k thing will allow me the excuse of skimming along the surface a bit-- do you both find that once you've reached that target you're actually keen to keep going? It's hard for me to tell at the moment, because I always find the first chapter hard to pin down but so far I'm leaping up from my chair the moment I pass the marker and rushing off to do something else!

Tracy said...

My hero – if I manage to get this written! is called Dante. He’s tall, dark, handsome and a billionaire - what else, could he be!

I don’t use pictures for my characters India, I ‘see’ them in my head. Although I must say, I do enjoy looking at your heroes – where do you find them? Especially loved Nacho Figueras

India said...

Dante sounds luscious, Tracy. I can't wait to read his story when it hits the shelves!

I search high and low for men, with a dedication that could quite legitimately be called obsession. In the case of lovely Nacho it wasn't actually too difficult to find him as my hero was an Argentine polo player, so in the course of research into the game I quite naturally stumbled across Nacho (what a lovely thought...) I didn't have a picture of a hero when I wrote my first book-- Raphael came straight from my head-- but with subsequent books I find it really helps to bring the characters to life and make them individual and distinctive if I have a definite image in front of me when I'm writing. (And finding them is a whole lot of fun too!)