Writing………..How, Why and When!

It started….oh, let me see…about what 8 years ago now. The next part is going to sound more than a little odd……it still does to me, even though this is exactly how it happened. I went to bed late on a Friday night. I woke up the next morning, went off and did all the normal Saturday things, which for me meant playing hockey. Don’t remember anything about the match, but what I do recall is being tired. I spent Saturday evening watching the TV with my wife, after having eventually put my eldest daughter to bed (sleeping not being her strong point). We were watching a chat show, and Pierce Brosnan was being interviewed when it happened. All of a sudden my dream from the previous night came flooding back as I sat on the sofa. It was nothing short of incredible, and I’m sure I sat back with mouth agog as an entire story, in graphic detail, washed across my consciousness. My wife must have spotted something odd about me (well, more odd than usual) and asked me what was wrong. I then spent 15 or so minutes recounting the story I’d dreamed about: the plot, the characters, the twists and turns….the ending. She was nearly as gobsmacked as I was. But most surprising of all were the words that she said to me.

“You have to write it,” she said excitedly. I can remember my response.

“Are you mad? I can only type on a keyboard with two fingers, how on earth am I going to write that whole story?”

That was just the beginning, a beginning that I tried to forget, but every so often, I’d dream about that story again. Oh, not the whole story, but just parts of it, once again in graphic detail. Sometimes it would be minor changes to the plot, parts added, or an extra detail to one of the characters. The dreams became more frequent. This sounds a little odd I know, but it’s almost as if I was being given a hint, or a nudge in the right direction. Eventually, I gave in. At the time I was a full time house husband (and rightly considered myself the luckiest man in the world to be so), but despite that, free time was scarce. I remember after one of the ‘dream updates’…let’s call them that…coming to a decision. I decided to teach myself to type properly………knowing that I was never going to write a book without this skill……with a view to writing the whole story as a novel.

And so it began….very, very slowly. I downloaded a teach yourself to type program from the internet, which was fabulous. However, it soon became apparent that I was only able to type when there was genuine peace and quiet…..something of a rarity at the time, given a small house with two young children. I soldiered on, and eventually got to the point (some three months later) where I considered my typing skills good enough to start my endeavour.

At first I planned…….oh how easy it was. I outlined the chapters, ten of each, ten thousand words each. “This,” I thought, “is going to be a piece of cake”. Okay………..I know NOW how ridiculous that was, but it seemed fairly logical at the time, and it was only when I got to 12,000 words of the first chapter, and still not having finished it, that I realised just how wasted my planning had been.

And so that was how I started writing my first book: ‘Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past’. It took a long time to finish it, a very long time to edit (that was a surprise….well to me at least) but eventually it was finished, and after nearly 18 months of approaching agents and publishers with no luck, I decided (because I truly believed then, as I do now, that not one agent or publisher had a good look at the manuscript that I sent them) to self publish my book.

And the rest, as they say, is history. At this point I should mention my wife. Not just because she’s my wife, but because she’s smart, clever, wonderful, hardworking, beautiful and, even luckier for me, a whizz at editing. My book most certainly would not have come about, if not for her, and the quality of the editing would not be what it is, if not for her amazing skills. So a big thank you from me to…….Rachel Cude.

To say I’ve got the writing bug would be an understatment….but then books seem to play a huge part in the Cude household. My wife and kids can be found buried in a good book, almost as often as I can, and while my wife’s taste is much more varied than mine, we never seem to be short of things to read. So, although time seems even more scarce than before, I do still find time to write, not as much as I either should, or would like to, but I do find time. So far, the folllow up book (the title of which shall remain nameless……don’t worry..it has one!) is not far off three quarters finished, and will be quite a lot longer than the first. All of the same characters feature, with some stunning new ones, and I keep changing my mind about which is my favourite. So hopefully at some point it will be finished, and maybe even published. I will of course keep you all informed.

I’m hoping that the writing section of my blog will be reserved for just that. I have great plans for some author interviews – I’ve told you how I started, so I think it would be interesting to hear from others about their experiences. Thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully it hasn’t bored you too senseless!

More, hopefully, to follow shortly…………….

Your thoughts are much appreciated..........Thanks!