Leigh Turner writing: how to write novels, a blog and short stories, while holding down a full-time day job. For writing a book, a target-driven approach may work for some people.
Thanks to everyone who has been reading my latest books.
When do you write?
People sometimes ask me: ‘when do you write? What are you working on now?’
Here is a snapshot.
I write on weekends and free evenings. My goal is to do two hours of writing every day. It is an ambitious target, but I often meet it. I’m generous to myself on what counts as writing – eg this blog, research or meeting another author as well as physically putting pen to paper. This target-driven approach works for me.
Mostly I work in the evenings between about 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. At weekends I sometimes manage four or five hours in a day. Many nights and some weekends, I don’t write at all. Often I find that moving to a place with no computer, with only my writing book and a couple of different-coloured pens, can stimulate creativity.
How do you write?
I usually write in long-hand, then transcribe to the computer. Looking at a computer screen as I write slows me down. The act of transcription to the screen later is enjoyable, and acts as an extra edit.
Leigh Turner writing: what next?
Top project: Palladium
My Istanbul thriller Palladium links a powerful, myth-flavoured opening set at the time of the Conquest of Istanbul in 1453 with a modern-day thriller introducing John Savage, thrown out of MI6 for gross misconduct. It will be published under my own name, Leigh Turner, by US publishers Immortal Works in May 2022.
Coming next: “The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to Diplomacy”
I’m working on this now, full-blast. It will distill the wisdom and wit of 42 years as a diplomat and ambassador, and will be published under my own name, I hope in 2022.
Next: the trilogy
My top project is the third in my trilogy of comedy love stories: two novels down, one to go. Writing a novel is, as any writer knows, a big job. The completed two are called Sex and the Summit and The Boyfriend (the latter is a working title); the third, half-written, is called The Spear of Destiny. I hope to publish the trilogy after 2022.
Another key writing project is marketing my latest books. If you have read them, I always welcome reviews on Amazon. Thanks!
It is a tragic fact that, however brilliant, books do not sell themselves. Promotions – blogs, book readings, circulars or tweaking the settings on Amazon (I occasionally offer a Hotel Story for free) make a difference. I love doing readings, so do come along any time.
More hotel stories
A long-term project is my Seven Hotel Stories. I originally wrote them, and continue to write them, as annual birthday presents for my partner, who is a hotel general manager (GM). But after I had some terrific feedback, I published them (11 so far). As I have so far published the Hotel Stories under my Robert Pimm pseudonym, you should go to my Robert Pimm Amazon page to find them. Or you can download a complete free Hotel Story here.
Leigh Turner writing: the web-site
Another big job is running this web-site. It’s easy to spend an evening tidying up links, updating posts, and so on – even before you start writing anything. My biggest danger is obsessing over how many hits I’m getting – I try not to look more than once every ten seconds, but it’s tough.
The back catalogue
I am attached to my back catalogue of novels and short stories. In addition to Blood Summit, Eternal Life, Sex and the Summit and The Boyfriend I have written four other novels:
– A Killing in Sevastopol, a thriller I wrote in 2012 about tensions between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea, is a prequel to Blood Summit. It stars John Savage, a former SIS agent traumatised by a murder in Moscow who returns to work as a diplomat in Kyiv. Also in the drawer;
– The Skip Outside the Lenin Museum, a thriller set in 1990s Moscow, is a prequel to A Killing in Sevastopol. Yes, it is in the drawer;
– Holiday Period is a prequel to Eternal Life, set a few hundred years earlier in London. Currently in the drawer.
Leigh Turner writing: short stories
I also have a back catalogue of other short stories – such as “Fixing It“, published on this blog.
So that’s it. It’s demanding. It’s a joy. It’s writing.
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