A couple of months ago, I wrote about my decision to move out of partnership in a law firm, and focus increasingly on my life as a writer, while continuing to work on average a couple of days a week as a solicitor. I said I'd offer occasional updates about how this transition was working, and here is the first...
Coincidence it may be, but a number of good things have happened to me since I made the switch. A few days ago, the Amazon Summer Sale began, and for the first time one of my novels, The Frozen Shroud, was available at the bargain price of 99p. Hurry now while stocks last is the message! Perhaps unsurprisingly, the book suddenly zoomed up the charts. So much so, in fact, that at the time of writing is number 2 in the "international crime and mystery bestseller list", though I have to admit, I'm not very familiar with these lists, or how significant they are. I'd be interested to know the views of other readers and writers about these Kindle sales - how much of an impact do they really make, and are they worth while. My assumption is the answers are "some" and "yes", but I don't know for sure.
I've also been interviewed by two very pleasant fellow writers and bloggers.Valerie Holmes has just published her interview with me, and another, by Christine Poulson, will appear in due course. I've also featured on the Crime Readers' Association site masterminded by Lucy Santos. And I've fitted in a brief but very enjoyable trip to the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival, as well as attending the CWA Daggers Dinner.
These are all the sort of things I might have done before my career move, but one thing that is very different is that I've signed quite a startling number of contracts lately with regard to writing projects of various kinds. Some of these are small scale - intros to books - while others are medium scale - you can look forward to no fewer than six, and perhaps more, anthologies that I'm about to edit, over the next eighteen months, if the prospect isn't just too much to bear! (I hope it won't seem unbearable, because these are anthologies that I'm very excited about.) And I've also embarked on a large scale project which I will tell you more about on another day.
I wouldn't have had the freedom to do all of these things in the past. I'd have done as many as I could, but I am enjoying the sense of liberation enormously. Admittedly, the "two days a week" consultancy hasn't quite happened as yet - I've been working longer hours than that on legal stuff to date, mainly due to an unforeseen flurry of work. But it's bound to fluctuate, and at least I don't have to trek into the office as often. And there are other bonuses that come from a reduction in commuting. For instance, yesterday was about the hottest day of the year, and I spent lunch on the balcony, watching two swans chug around on the water, accompanied by three cygnets, and dinner following the flight path of a heron that swooped around before settling back in a tree to contemplate the world. I can't easily describe how pleasurable it is to be doing that instead of being cooped up in an office all day, the way I've spent the last thirty-odd summers. The writer's life has ups and downs, but the ups are pretty good, it seems to me.