on the post-free holiday season

I’ve never felt comfortable starting posts with “sorry I’ve been away”—always this small fear that people will click onto this single post from an unrelated link and go “well, this person skips out on their blog a lot, may as well not get invested in it then.” Which doesn’t mean I’m not sorry when I have breaks—I have a Masters in Feeling Guilty—but I pretend they haven’t happened. But this was a long break, and here’s why.

Since investing most of my reading time in crime five years ago to write reviews for work, I’ve read a buttload of crime books. Like any genre, some are amazing, some are good, some are average, and some I couldn’t get past page two without yelling “NO” and storming out of the room to avoid it. After enough of the latter, I thought to myself, maybe I should just write my own crime novel. Because, let’s face it, I am not very clever but apparently my ego does not agree.

And so I wrote it, finishing it up sometime halfway through last year, then I started the second draft, realised how terrible it was, and put it in the very full drawer of “first drafts I now hate”, full of (on average) one book for every two years, apart from my very prolific primary and secondary school years when I was writing about talking dogs and thinly veiled versions of all the boys I was in love with every time I could get near a keyboard/typewriter/journal with stickers on it. I learned that crime is hard to write and perhaps it was not for me.

Then something happened—I’ll go into more detail later—and instead of ignoring this novel like I traditionally do, I edited it. I sent it out to literary friends. And edited it again. And it was hard. And it took up a lot of time, and so did working in retail in December, and other things happened over Christmas that took up other time and space in my brain, and then suddenly it was nearly February and here we are with a blog that needs a thorough dusting.

And one of my friends said, “Why don’t you also blog about what it’s like to write a crime book?” and I thought, well, maybe I will. Besides, she just designed this excellent new Reading Kills logo, and is a wonderful kids book author, and she knows I love the sound of my own typing. So here I am, saying: I will try harder to write more here, more reviews, more about writing as a semi-non-professional writer, more, more, more. So, dear reader, thanks for sticking around.