I write domestic noir, psychological crime and historical mysteries. I have six novels out there (and more on the way), and I think I’ve got the hang of it, so any sane person would stick with it. But instead I am now side-stepping into Science Fiction. Why?
Mainly because of Covid-19. The first lock-down of 2020 should have been an ideal time for writers to hunker down and spend twenty hours a day at their keyboard, with nothing else to do, Instead, many, including me, found our minds going numb, leaving us unable to concentrate on little things like words. I went into hibernation.
When I did emerge, blinking, yawning and surrounded by half-written crime hazelnuts, I realised that crime really wasn’t fitting my mood. In the midst of a pandemic, I didn’t want to immerse myself in the misery, trauma and pain of realistic murder. I wanted to immerse myself in something that wasn’t remotely real. Most of all, I wanted to have fun.
So I moved on to Science Fiction. Or, to be more precise, I moved back to it. Science fiction was my preferred genre back in the 80s and 90s, a time when publication was very much a pipe dream that I had given up expecting to materialise, so I was writing purely for my own pleasure. Such a joyful luxury.
Into the new millennium, I told myself sternly that I should really knuckle down, be serious and switch to a genre that appealed to publishers. Crime was obvious, so I switched and finally got published. After all, whether I set my stories in a spaceship or a Welsh cottage, I am always writing about people confronted with situations that they really didn’t want to face and having to deal with it, so it wasn’t a massive leap.
But thanks to Covid-19, I needed to take a sabbatical back to the days when writing was nothing but fun, without the tedium of collecting another batch of publishers’ rejections. So I did, and Inside Out will be published on May 12th. May, because it will be summer and hopefully anxiety levels sinking . A Wednesday, because books are always published on Thursdays and I wanted to defy convention. The 12th because a new moon will be rising, and I always feel more optimistic then.
Meanwhile, it’s available for pre-order now!