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?
Most recent 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 was published 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 wit and wisdom of 42 years of diplomacy and will be published in spring 2023.
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). You can download a complete free Hotel Story here, or read the first seven of them by clicking on the link below.
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.
P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please subscribe to my weekly newsletter (you can unsubscribe anytime you wish). Or, as I say, please do write a review of any of my books on Amazon.