When you get published, one of the first questions I find I’m asked is how did you do it? I’m the last bloke for giving advice but I will offer at least this perspective:
I don’t know if I would say The Last Enemy has had a charmed life. Sure, it’s my first book, and it was grabbed up from my first submission to a publisher. And that sounds like a lucky break but it isn’t. Luck is finding twenty buck on the sidewalk. I don’t believe in hubris. I’ll admit freely to feeling the pang of insecurity until my book is done. What I am confident in is my ability to write and to weave a big sweeping story together. And while that doesn’t make it good, mind you, there are hard days writing a novel, so believing in your ability can get you through it. I found that’s the case in my particular instance. I took my time with the first Simon Monk novel. And it was actually my second novel. The first was a collaborative effort with another, very busy author that was taking a long time due to their publishing commitments (more about that second book later). When I barked about it, as I often did, her advice was simply ‘write another book’. So I did. And I wrote about something I love: Spies.
Look, I don’t know that my take on the contemporary thriller is trendy, or if the truth behind some of my plot is timely. I didn’t give a shit. I knew if I loved it, I would write it well because my internal barometer would settle for nothing less than doing it really well.
So back to that perspective I said I’d offer: write what you love and write it well. Sorry, it’s hardly original advice, I know. Is the Last Enemy a good book? I’m delighted my publisher thinks it has potential. For me, I’ll let the reader decide. I hope you pick it up.