Thank you for stopping by I'm delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Cold Winter Sun and sharing a Guest Post by Tony J Forder today!
First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...
A missing man. A determined hunter. A deadly case.
When Mike Lynch is contacted by his ex-wife about the missing nephew of her new husband, he offers to help find the young man with the help of his friend Terry Cochran.
Arriving in LA to try and track down the young man, the pair are immediately torn away when the missing man’s car shows up, abandoned on the side of a deserted road in New Mexico.
When two fake police officers cross their path, Terry and Mike know there is more to the case than meets the eye, and soon they find themselves asking exactly who it is they are really looking for…
People often ask me what are the good and bad things about writing. The fact is, the pros and cons are fluid, and they have changed enormously since I was first asked that question. I have no doubt that many of these will be shared with other writers, but also suspect that some may be reversed. I guess it’s all about the individual. For me, however, right now, here are my thoughts on the question:
Walking into my local Waterstones and seeing my books on the ‘Crime’ table and on the ‘Crime’ shelves gives me a thrill every time. It was everything I aspired to when I started writing, and now my books are there for any browser to come across by chance. That is the biggest thrill and the biggest pro right there. Just a few weeks ago I went in there to browse for more books to add to my ever-expanding To Be Read pile. I ended up signing the books they had on the shelves, which gave me a real kick.
Making a living from writing is a big one. I don’t sell in the millions, but I set out hoping to sell a few hundred copies along the way, so when I see the numbers I have achieved over the past eighteen months then I have to say I still pinch myself.
Discovering a whole community of writers, bloggers and readers out there who are so gracious, so friendly, so approachable, and so deep into reading and writing, was a massive thrill. It has been my great pleasure and privilege to get to know so many of them, not just on social media but also in person, and a nicer bunch of people you could not wish for. To be recognised by complete strangers at the Harrogate festival, and to have them talking to me about my books, was a surreal experience.
The physical act of writing is a pro. It’s something I look forward to each morning as I take my seat at my desk and power up the laptop at around 8.00am five days a week. Sure, there are times when the story is not quite flowing as I would like, or the ending is not coming together in my mind, or the edits compel me to cut chunks of work because it’s for the good of the storyline and pace, and they are not exactly fun times. But they are part of the overall process, and as such you have to accept them. They are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the times where scenes are disappearing beneath the fierce clatter of keys, characters come to life and take a grip of the story, and the satisfaction at having pulled together another 100,000 words or so to produce one more book. After six books, I can only hope there is more in the tank yet.
Crippling self-doubt is something I know I share with a lot of writers. I recently exchanged a few online words with a crime author who sells in her millions, and she told me that she goes through the same agonies as I do with every book she writes. It’s something you have to overcome, but I am my own worst critic and I can be extremely harsh with myself. I know I can write books people enjoy reading, but I also know I can get better at it.
The agonising wait for the first few reviews to come through can seem interminable. The wait between first handing your book into the publisher and receiving those first reviews can be as long as six months, and that’s a long time to sit back waiting for people to read your book and publish their reviews. The feeling when that first 5 star comes through is such a massive relief it’s all you can do not to collapse in on yourself. You work yourself up into such a frenzy that it makes the wait all the harder. I tell myself I’m half a dozen books in now so I can sit back and relax, but not a bit of it. As I write this, Cold Winter Sun is still a month and a half away from being published, and I am absolutely in pieces.
Socialising does not come easy to me. I was as nervous as anything when I did my first reading, my first couple of signings, my first literary festival, and my first ‘meet the author’ event. I try to overcome it all with a combination of humour and alcohol consumption, and so far it seems to have worked. But it’s a nervous time, believe me. However, as an author you occasionally have to put yourself out there. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a tremendous experience getting to meet and socialise with fellow authors, book bloggers, and readers. I really enjoy it when I’m doing it – if only it weren’t for that pesky anticipation.
When it comes to the reviews I mentioned earlier, they can be both a pro and a con. However, the reviews from the stunningly wonderful book bloggers have been incredible, and the vast majority on both Goodreads and the various Amazon sites have been terrific. Some of the positive comments have been mind-boggling, and there is nothing to match the feeling when a reader endorses something you took great care over. Though few, those poor reviews sting. A number of my worst ratings have been non-reviews, really. It seems that there are some people out there whose aim it is to trawl the various review sites specifically in order to give a 1* rating or a few miserable words to a book which has a high overall rating. Those people I can ignore because I know they haven’t actually read the book.
But you cannot please all of the people all of the time, and invariably there will be people who shelled out their hard-earned money and are unhappy with their purchase. It’s tough to take, but provided they have been thoughtful and honest in their appraisal, then you just have to live with it. You may not agree, and sometimes they can get things dreadfully wrong or accidentally leak a plotline you’d rather have been kept quiet. So a thick skin is necessary, and you move on. Reviews can be a double-edged sword, but on the whole enormous satisfaction can be garnered from them, especially when a reader thanks you for writing the book. Now that is a pro, and a wonderful one at that.
Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first three books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, and If Fear Wins will be joined by a fouth in the series in 2019.
Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This is a stand-alone novel. Another book that was written as a stand-alone was Scream Blue Murder. This was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller. Before it had even been published, Tony had decided to write a sequel, and Cold Winter Sun will be published in November 2018.
Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author.
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