Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Guest Post: Writing the Difficult Second Book by Rebecca Bradley

I have to start this post by thanking Sharon for having me on the blog today, for giving me the space to talk and to share my experience of writing that difficult second book, my difficult second book, Made to be Broken. Thank you, Sharon. 

My first book Shallow Waters was released in December 2014, that's a long stretch of time between first book and the second.

With Shallow Waters I had all the time in the world to write it. There was no one waiting for it, there was no deadline, there was no one with any expectations, and I had no previous work out in the world with which anyone could compare it to. Book one for a new author is a walk in the park in a lot of respects, other than the steep learning curve of writing that is. But, learning to write is an ongoing process and it is one I don't think I will ever come to the end of. I hope to always be learning and improving and creating better work.

Now, book 2, is a different beast altogether. I had readers. Readers who had read Shallow Waters. Readers who had enjoyed Shallow Waters. Readers who had said they couldn't wait to read the next in the series. And while all those things where exciting and thrilling and boosted my confidence as a writer, they did, at the same time freeze me in my tracks. In my bum in seat, fingers on keyboard, brain functioning in head, tracks.

Why would my readers wanting more from me terrify me this way? Because now there were readers waiting for another book, readers with expectations, expectations that book 2 would live up to the enjoyment they felt when reading book 1. They now had something to compare it to.

Could I really do it again? Or was Shallow Waters a fluke? Was I a one-hit wonder? It had taken me literally years to complete the first book and now I knew as a published writer that readers expected another book fairly quickly. So not only did I have to write a book that readers of the first one enjoyed, but I also had to do it at a faster speed than I'd written the first book!

Was I really sure I want to be a writer?! Seriously book 2 is terrifying.

I struggled. I mean, I really really struggled. I knew what I wanted the story to be about, I knew the theme, and I'd roughly plotted most of it out. And yet, the whole thing seemed to be a complete jumbled mess. I was working with different timelines, different characters, a mode of killing I didn't understand particularly well so needed to research it, it was like trying to untangle a bag of necklaces. I was extremely frustrated throughout the whole process.

I'm pleased to say though, that early reader feedback has been really positive and all the hair pulling and near baldness seems to have been worth it. Luckily I have a fairly thick skin for the negative reviews, I'm just happy to have got through the process of writing that difficult second book and I’m now being the anxious mum waiting for babies first day at school to be over so I can relax and get on with the act of stressing about book 3!

Rebecca Bradley is a retired police detective who lives in Nottinghamshire with her family and her two cockapoo's Alfie and Lola. They keep her company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis.

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A rising death toll. A city in panic. 

A young mother is found dead in her home with no obvious cause of death. As DI Hannah Robbins and her team investigate, it soon becomes clear that the woman is the first in a long line of murders by poison. 

With the body count climbing, and the city of Nottingham in social meltdown, the team finds themselves in a deadly race against a serial killer determined to prove a point. 

And Hannah finds herself targeting an individual with whom she has more in common than she could possibly know. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me on the blog, Sharon. I really appreciate the support and it was interesting for me to look back at the process of writing that second book! Thank you! xx