With Sanchin all done and dusted and awaiting publication it’s time to focus on writing again. I started writing the second novel at the same time as I started editing Sanchin and, with hindsight, this was a mistake. Switching between editing and writing was more difficult than I had anticipated.
Broken Bonds was the novel I began. Now, I don’t know if it was because I was writing one and editing another, or if I was writing outside my genre or what, but I never really found my voice with that one. I’m not sure if I ever will so, for now at least, it is on hold.
Yantsu, while nothing like Sanchin in character or storyline, is similar in that it focuses on a young cast of characters and it has a strong martial arts theme. I was reluctant to write another book in the same vein for fear of forcing myself into a little box and never being able to write anything else.
But then I really thought about it, and you know what? I don’t care! I loved writing Sanchin and I’m loving working on Yantsu. For me, writing is not about getting a major publishing deal and making pots of money. It’s about enjoying what I do.
Yes, I would like people to read the books and I hope, if they do, that they will enjoy them. Getting a mainstream publisher would wonderful, as would being able to earn enough to focus exclusively on writing fiction but I’m not going to bang my head on a brick wall to achieve that.
I’m not prepared to change my style or my voice or my stories to fit in with someone else’s idea of a good book. I want to write purely for the joy of writing.
If I find a readership along the way I hope they will get as much pleasure from reading my books as I do from writing them.
But I want my writing to be fun and I want to write the stories that flow onto the page. If that puts me into the box with a label saying stereotype, then so be it. I’ll just stick another on top saying specialist.