I really can not believe that the day is finally here. My little brainchild that came into my mind in December has finally started. I could not be more excited! For the next 12 days, my blog will be taking over by Wendy and my love for her books. We have so much going but I can’t tell you what…it’s a surprise!! Even Wendy doesn’t know the order in which things are going to be done and there may even be a surprise for her! Alas, I have said too much!
Throughout the course of this TakeOver, Wendy is also holding a giveaway in which you could win a signed copy of her first book Who Cares if They Die, and my god it’s a corker. Make sure you check out her Facebook page and her Twitter page for more details. (Click on the emboldened words to take you there!)
So on Day 1, we are kicking off with a fab guest post by the main lady herself Wendy…over to you!
A Day in the life of Crime writer
I often get asked how I manage my time as a writer; where I fit in the hours and is it as lonely as they say, so I thought I’d show you a glimpse into my world!
On weekdays I’m always at my desk between 8 – 9am. I treat writing as a regular job because if I don’t treat it seriously, who else will? I’ll open my laptop whilst drinking a cup of tea (after a hearty breakfast – I’m not one for skipping meals), waiting for the ancient device to warm up. I’ve written 4 novels and countless short stories on this laptop and I’m amazed it’s still alive.
Although I’m at my desk early, it doesn’t mean I start writing straight away. There’s social media to play with first! I know a lot of writers dread social media and only use it because they’re told they have to have an “online presence”, but I genuinely love Twitter. It makes me laugh so much. Before I was signed by a publisher for my Dean Matheson series I self-published my first novel (The Girl Who Died) and Twitter helped keep me sane in those lonely times. I met some great fellow authors and lots of book bloggers like Zoé and it felt like – in fact it stills does – when you log in to Twitter, you’re meeting up with your friends. You’re no longer writing alone and you hear from readers who have enjoyed your books or who enjoy the same kinds of books and movies as you. Now, Twitter is where I go to find my next read.
I spend at least an hour (or three) catching up on there and reading my emails. Just like with a regular day job, the emails never stop coming! Just while writing this I’ve received twelve. But one of them is for a free cookie so that’s where I’m going after this…
Once I start to write, one of my three cats – usually Sookie, the girl – will join me at my desk, demanding attention and then curling up next to me, and the two boys will be asleep in the sunshine somewhere. In winter they’ll join us in the office. I have to write while they sleep, as otherwise they demand attention by taking turns to meow at me every third second, a bit like the Frog Song from years ago. They tend to sleep all morning and all night, which means I need to write as much as possible in the morning.
Look at these beauties!! L-R (Teddy, Joey and Sookie)
I always take a lunch-break at noon (I can’t wait any longer than this for my lunch and sometimes I don’t even make it to ten a.m.), which is usually spent in the garden with the cats. After lunch I might walk to the shops to buy a family pack of some form of triple chocolate biscuits (exercise is very important to writers), then I’ll spend an hour playing with the cats to wear them out so that I can write some more in the afternoon, but I’m not as good at writing in the afternoon. I start noticing all the housework that needs doing and feel guilty for ignoring it.
When you work from home people assume you have time to vacuum, wash dishes, do the laundry etc. But they don’t realise the afternoon is for catching up with crime documentaries on Netflix, all in the name of research of course! I sometimes feel guilty spending an hour or two watching these, but I console myself by catching up on Twitter and emails while they’re on.
My husband’s due home from work around now so it’s time to brush my hair and get dressed (you think I’m joking?) and pretend I’ve looked presentable all day and didn’t miss a parcel because I didn’t want the postman to see my unbrushed hair.
When I had a day job, sometimes two at a time, I could only squeeze in writing during the evenings – all four of my novels were written around a day job. But I won’t write in the evening anymore unless I have a deadline for edits or submissions. Being a writer makes it hard to switch off as you’re always supposed to be hustling, but I need downtime from it just like a day job. So this is my relaxation time. If only my characters knew this is when they’re meant to stop talking…
How cool is this!? I loved finding out more about Wendy and her day! Plus you saw the pictures of her cats and I think I would be easily distracted by them too! However, I love the idea of being a full-time crime author if it means I could sit and watch Netflix all day without feeling guilty! LOL
Come back tomorrow where I have an exclusive excerpt from Wendy’s new book Won’t You Save Me. It comes out on the 29th January!! Make sure you get your copies!
Until next time xxx