Saturday, 25 August 2007

CRIME FICTION

I'd like to share with you something about the process of creating my character GERALDINE STEEL, a police DI in the Serious Crime Squad.

39 comments:

spleenal said...

go on then

Leigh Russell said...

At the beginning of the year I started scribbling. It sounds trite to say my first book wrote itself, but a story unfolded as I wrote. Stephen King said writing a book is like conducting an archaeological dig. He chips away to discover a story. That's how it was. One episode led to another. I'll give you an example. I had to write an incident where a man is beaten up by two young lads who nick his brief case, just for a laugh. That led me to wonder: what was in the brief case? The question led to a whole new plot line which involved - well, I won't give too much away, but several people met untimely ends because of that question!! I became addicted, writing about 2,000 words every day, although at this point, I had no expectations of becoming a published author.... I was just having fun! I couldn't stop writing! Have you ever been so absorbed in a book, you can't put it down? It's like that.

Leigh Russell said...

A few months ago I received a random invitation to an Army Recruitment Event, due to my day job working with young people. Encouraging youngsters to kill or be killed is the last thing I'm likely to do. Despite writing crime fiction I'm vehemently opposed to all forms of physical violence. However, I did have a visit at home from Major Panic this week as my computer died. It created a bit of a problem with my prolific writing habits! My study at home came to resemble those adverts on the TV where everything is covered in bits of paper flying around. Luckily (or should I say expensively) I now have a brand new computer which the computer guy tells me cheerfully should last four or five years! That long?! Let's hope I make some money from my books.... I strongly recommend memory sticks. I love them. I back all my work up on two memory sticks (someone once told me they can be unreliable). I also keep a hard copy of everything but if I had to type all my books out again, I think I'd lose my drive. I still found time to create a new character - rather a creepy one this time but I was feeling slightly annoyed by life at the time.

Leigh Russell said...

My first book is on my publisher's website, so I can now google 'CUT SHORT Leigh Russell' and go straight to details of my novel! I feel as though I exist. The publisher describes my book as "seriously creepy" which I love. I must be the least creepy person you could ever wish to meet, but I love it that this adjective is used to describe my crime thriller. SERIOUSLY CREEPY!

Marit said...

Hi Leigh,

Like I wrote, I read anything with letters on it! And that also means crime fiction. So I'll keep an eye out for your book.

DMM said...

Leigh - I'm going to try and find your book - it sounds like one of those you can't put down. Thanks for visiting my blog - I'm looking forward to your book(s).

Dana Dane said...

I can't wait

Mary said...

I am fascinated by any creative journey. I envy writers so the process that gets them to create their art is interesting to me.

So is this book available yet?

moonrat said...

hey! thanks for stopping by thebookbook. my guess is you wanted a reply from aprilynne re: the husband, but instead you're getting me... are you interested in joining up?

Leigh Russell said...

CUT SHORT is currently 'with the editor' - whatever that means. I thought the editor's job is to proof read the text. Mine is fairly accurate, though I say it myself, as I'm an English teacher and I spend a lot of time correcting punctuation and spelling! (Sorry to be so boring.)However, I've been told by fellow writers that the editor can issue instructions such as: "Cut a character," or "Cut 5,000 words," which is a seriously scarey prospect. I hope I don't have to make any changes. I feel rather attached to CUT SHORT. It found me a publisher, after all. I'm a very impatient person and I hate all this waiting. I want to see my book on the shelves! I can't wait! I feel like a child at Christmas - but also frightened. What if no one buys it? What if it's reviewed and the reviewer hates it? Who am I kidding? I haven't had so much fun in years!

Guy Hogan said...

I'll keep my eye out for the book. Remind me when it does come out.

Guy--

Mimona said...

hi, how do u know I travel so much...
All I have been doing the past month is sitting infront of the pc and trying to write =)
I used to read crime fiction and horror but now I´m more into drama... Tough your book sounds quite interesting.

Diligent Candy said...

Ah! Now I understand the crime fiction question.

Amylia said...

Congrats on being published! I'll buy your book. I rarely read Crime Fiction, but not because I don't enjoy a good crime read. I tend to read memoir or NF, and so many classics left to read. Ah, not enough time reading these days!

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

Good luck with everything!

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Hi Leigh,

Sounds like a great book, (I love Stephen King) and I will certainly look out for it.

Good job in getting a publisher, i can seem to get my hands on one.
Anne

Mel said...

I am also a Stephen King fan and will certainly look for it in April, will it be on Amazon as my third is due in April, good luck with it and if you don't mind me asking do you have an agent and how did you go about finding them?

DMM said...

Do you know if your book will be avaiable in the US? I noticed you are from the UK. Hopefully I can get my hands on it thru Amazon.

Mimona said...

well, in the mater of fact I WAS sitting infornt of my pc when I wrote the text... It was kind of a school task I hade to do... But after that I went to Tanzania and started to travel more... So yes, I´m addicted to traveling and visiting different cultures =)
At the moment I´m reading Paolo Coelho´s books...
Have you read them?

Catherine said...

Hi Leigh

I've just left a comment for you on my blog so I won't repeat myself here. I should have congratulated you on being published! Not any easy feat in this day and age. You must be good! In the dim and distant past I worked for Hodder and Stoughton who published Stephen King's books. I loved working there! Oh dear, shows how old I am. Hodder and Stoughton are no longer in existence!

Catherine x

Catherine said...

Are you going to give us some more daily info on your blog Leigh, such as book launches, signings, talks, life in general?

Leigh Russell said...

I feel I've been somewhat remiss. I started this blog, because a couple of people suggested I do so. One of my colleagues at work, who has been gratifyingly excited about my book deal, said I should write a record of my experience. Having set up the blog, I waited for an overwhelming response but only 'spleenal' commented so I became rather disheartened. Recently, I've contacted a few people 'out there' who are interested in reading, and have had an amazing response. I am so excited when someone posts a comment. What is this modern phenomenon? I feel a real connection with the people who engage with my blog. I need to think about this. Is it that we allow so little time and space in our lives for face to face contact? This is a thought I will revisit - ironically I don't have time to develop it now! My book is, as I mentioned, "with the editor" which is a little nerve wracking. I keep thinking of details I should have included, improved, changed. When is a book finished? It's not like a poem, which can be 'perfect', I found I could tinker endlessly with my book, if I allowed myself to revisit it. Best not to read it once it's finished, I find. There comes a time when it has to be 'put to bed' as it were. The next exciting development is that my publisher has given me the email address of the PR man! Yes! We're going to talk about how to sell the book. A bookseller described how writing books is like mountaineering. Finding a publisher, you think you've reached the top, only to discover an even higher mountain on the other side of the peak you've attained: getting the book to sell.
I intend now to write a comment each week - so more next week!

DMM said...

Sweet. Tell him you want it to hit the U.S.A. for sales ;)

I can certainly understand when you say about when is it finishes. I just blog and find myself fooling around with my text endlessly before and after posting it. I am by no means a writer but I try.

Caroline Deacon said...

Hi Leigh - thanks for visiting my blog and I posted a reply there so won't go on for ages here.
Which publisher are you with? The exciting bit I find is when it gets to publicity. But there is an initial flurry which you really need to milk because it will die away very quickly as they are given the next book to market. I suggest you give yourself some clear time to work at marketing the book as much as you can up to launch day. And do some stuff yourself locally -go to your bookshop, ask for readings or signings, just get out there and do what you can
Caroline Deacon

Leigh Russell said...

Caroline - I replied on your blog to make sure you received my thanks for your advice. It's wonderful to feel supported like this, out of the sky as it were. Wow! I am definitely a blog convert. Everyone is so friendly. Thank you.

Jo said...

Hi Leigh - thanks for visiting my blog. I do read crime thrillers, it's one of my major reading genres and one which I might try writing in, so your blog should be an interesting read for me.

As for my Dumbledore post: it doesn't matter at all, but so many people have flipped out over the news that it's a little alarming. I don't blame you for giving up after book 5, it's definitely not the best of the 7.

Folded Wings said...

Hi Leigh thanks for visiting my web. I can't say I have always been a frequent reader of crime thrillers they tend to scare me! :)

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

Hi, thanks for dropping by my site.

I will definately keep an eye out for your book. Which publisher is it with?

Hope the edit goes well!

I'm just learning what there is to know about editing so I hope all goes well with the final cut and it doesn't get 'cut short' to meet the page extent! :>)

Good luck!
Wislon

culfy said...

Hi there,

Never feel disheartened about the lack of response to a blog, especially when just starting out. It takes time to build up an audience but just keep posting, even if it occasionally feels like you're just talking to yourself. Your words will still be floating out on the net, someone will alight on them and eventually find their way back to your blog

I will certainly keep my eye on your site, being a huge fan of crime fiction, and will certainly buy your book when released.

fizzycat said...

Hello Leigh just found your comment on my blog Fizzy's happy crafting world.To answer your question yes I read crime fiction, shortly about to read Out by
Stephan Snyder.Will look out for your book when published good luck with it.

Leigh Russell said...

I am really excited about the responses I'm receiving on my blog. I've decided to make a 'diary entry' every Wednesday about my experience as a new writer and am thinking about the topics I'm going to discuss over the next few weeks: my relationship with my publisher and how I found her, approaching the editor, and promoting my book.... also the apprehension I'm feeling about my book being read by people who know me... I've already warned my mother not to read it (but I know she will!!!) Next detailed entry on Wednesday when I'm also getting my hair cut, which is an event of some significance for me. (I'll explain why on Wednesday when I write about my publisher.)

Leigh Russell said...

Mark from Mostly Books - fantastic independent book shop in Abingdon - has promised to visit my blog! Mark is the person who originally started me blogging, by explaining to me what "blogging" is... It's great that he'll be visiting my blog. Thanks, Mark.

Sleepy said...

I'll invest in a copy.

Thanks for dropping by my blog.

Leigh Russell said...

When I heard people say blogging takes over from writing, I thought (o naive arrogance!) that would never happen to me. But here I am, blogging away, and I haven't written a word of a book for TWO DAYS! This is unheard of... since I began writing 9 months ago, I've obsessively written at least 1,000 words a day. I'd do word counts daily, and add up how many words I'd written. Obsession! I was averaging 2,000 words a day. All that has changed since I discovered the seductive siren call of blogging.... so I won't log on until Wednesday. It's going to be like ice cream. I have to ration myself... (pass the carton - I can't resist choc chip...)

Katrina said...

Hi Leigh,

Thanks for stopping by Texas Tawk. Congratulations on your new book! What a great feeling it is to finally get something out in print. Enjoy the ride --it's so exhilarating!

I see you are from the UK. Will your book be available in the US in April? Keep me posted on the publication date--I'm looking forward to a great read!

Henrietta said...

Creepy, eh? Hm. Regularly dip into crime fiction in the hope of inspiration, but the killer too often seems to be unmasked and that just doesn't seem fair. And my neck's already quite long enough! Thank you, by the way, for dropping by and commenting.

Catherine said...

Hi Leigh

I'm definitely going to buy a copy of your book when it's out in print and I'm looking forward to reading your Wednesday musings.

fizzycat said...

Hello Leigh, I'm back to answer both your questions.Yes the world is full of odd creatures (cavies that talk and write too)look forwood to seeing your book.
How I found your blog address, its just on the bit of your browser (Internet explorer) just underneath the buttons that say back search etc.Went to your current page put curser (whats that word about) arrow on your address there, left clicked ( like copy and paste) then pasted it into relevant space on blog.It also appears at the top when you sign in to post at top right of blog as well .That version appears on coloured bit of top border - useful to check if you are not sure if you have signed in or not.

writtenwyrdd said...

Can you do this as a series of posts instead of comments?

fizzycat said...

As I now read your comments page I see a beige background then a blue bar above it , then an indigo bar.Above this I see a thin grey line then a white space where it says https://blogger.com/comment etc.If you go back to your main page from here, the white space that has said http://blogger.com/comments on the leave a comment page will now have your blog address on it.Best wishes Fizzy.