Monday, 6 December 2010

A Serious Business

by Leigh Russell

In unusual circumstances, books can be published within weeks. Michael Jackson’s biography was clearly prepared in advance and given regular updates, right up until his death at which point I seem to recall there was a race to be the first to have a book on the shelves.
For most authors, the process takes longer. There is a time lag between delivery of the final manuscript and publication. So the manuscript for Road Closed was delivered in December 2009, if I remember correctly, for publication in June 2010.

Addicted to writing, I started on Dead End as soon as Road Closed was finished in December 2009. By writing I refer not simply to the secretarial task of committing words to paper or screen, but also to the thinking, research and editing that go into producing a book.
A year has passed and YESTERDAY I sent Dead End to my publisher! The story that has dominated my thoughts for the past year is now out of my hands. Finished. Handed over. Delivered. Submitted. Gone.

Am I pleased with what I have achieved? Am I excited about the publication of my next book? As is so often the case, reality is very different to my expectations. So yes, I would have expected to feel happy at delivering my manuscript, but in reality a word like terrified might be closer to how I’m feeling right now!

True to form, I’m already working on my next book. The final manuscript is due with my agent in a month’s time, so I’m currently working on final edits for the book that follows Dead End. I’ll have to wait more than a few weeks to see that one in print but, in the meantime, you can guess what I’ll be doing... yes, the killer in my fifth book is already clamouring to be heard.

The last thing I want to do right now is think about Dead End, as it is prepares to be launched into the public domain, to run the gauntlet of reviews.

While writing is fun, I am beginning to realise that being an author is a serious business.


  1. "the killer in my fifth book is already clamouring to be heard"

    Sounds like you're in a great place right now, Leigh. Good luck with all the projects - existing, new and next.

  2. Thanks, Sarah Hilary. Of course the clamouring of an idea about a killer is only the very beginning. There's lots of hard work ahead (I can't wait!)

  3. Congrats on all of your success, Leigh. I just turned in the manuscript for my second novel, so I'm looking forward to start reading again. Working a 10.5 hour day job, I only have a few hours each day for creative writing, article writing that I have been doing this year, blogging, networking, etc. I'm looking forward to catching up on the novels of some of the new friends I have met this year. I need to pick up copies of yours and Richard's novels, too (if Santa doesn't put it under my tree). ;)
    Take care and may the stories continue to just pour out of you,

  4. Hi James - first of all well done on completing your second novel. Like you, I seem to have no time at all for reading... I'm ashamed to confess! I work a 9.5 hour day, which means I'm away from my desk at home for about 11 hours... but I do have the school hols for writing! I do hope Santa puts my books and Richard's under your tree and that you enjoy them before you start on your third novel. I have a feeling you won't stop writing for long. Once you get that bug... it's total addiction!

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