Absolutely THRILLED to be hosting Will Carver’s GOOD SAMARITAN blog tour today with a very interesting #guestpost that really hit a chord – I am currently writing the second book in my series, before even knowing how my debut will be recieved! #FeelingTheFear – Love it! Massive thanks to the forces of nature – Anne Cater/RandomThingsTours and Orenda Books for the invite. So let’s find out a bit mire about the author and this book!
About the Author
Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series (Arrow).
He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age 11, when his sporting career took off.
He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company.
He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, while working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.
About the Book
One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach.
Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.
That difficult second book. Again.
A couple of months ago, I made up part of a panel at Bloody Scotland talking about high-concept fiction. It was great. I haven’t done anything like that for years. After forty minutes of laughter and swearing and never really getting to the bottom of what ‘High Concept’ means, the baton was passed to the audience. A woman stood up and nervously asked a question about writing, hoping that we could help in some way.
She found herself paralysed by fear of how her book would be received, whether she was writing a book that people would want to read. She found herself staring at a blank screen most days, not because she didn’t have something to write, because she was thinking so much about what readers would and wouldn’t like.
My fellow panelists – Doug Johnstone and Gordon Brown – took it up first. They were encouraging and insightful and I could see the woman nodding along attentively.
And it was pissing me off.
So I said, ‘Why do you give a fuck what anybody else thinks? People you don’t know or will never meet. You’re not writing a book for them. There are always going to be haters and one-star reviewers, The Great Gatsby has one-star reviews. The moment you start writing a book with that in mind, trying to cater for an audience or second-guess readers, your writing suffers. Your book will be shit. You need to sit down and write the book you want to write. Get that out of the way first. Because you’re putting up unnecessary barriers. Don’t write a book that you don’t like.’
Or words to that effect.
I was angry. At the time I thought I was angry because this girl was hurting herself and it was something that could be avoided. She was stopping herself from doing something that she seemingly felt passionate about. I wanted to shock her into making a change so she could push past her issue.
Then I started writing my fifth book and I realised that I was angry at ME.
My first book, Girl 4, did alright. It was a bit different. The story was told in a weird way. Crime purists hated it. But it was chosen as my publisher’s break-out book that year and was their best selling debut. It’s a very special time when your first novel is published. It’s all a little unbelievable and you can get swept up in it.
Before it even came out, I had finished my second book. I’d nearly finished my third. (I was supposed to be writing two books each year.) The second book, The Two, was initially written in much the same way as the first. It was a series, after all. For me, though a little unconventional, it had worked.
But what about the things that hadn’t worked?
Readers who didn’t like the book commented about how I jumped about in time a lot and they prefer a linear structure. Readers who didn’t like the book did not understand the idea of foreshadowing – ‘How can the victim be talking of her own death when she hasn’t even died yet?’ Readers who didn’t like the book didn’t gel with the supernatural elements. Readers who didn’t like the book weren’t happy that I left some questions unanswered at the end of the book.
Eventually, some notes came back about the second book.
Make it more linear.
No more foreshadowing.
Can we get rid of the supernatural bits?
Make sure everything is tied up at the end. The detective can’t fail.
In my head, I’m thinking, ‘What? I’m writing this second book to please all the people that hated the first one and aren’t going to bother reading this one?
But I did it. I was new. I didn’t really know what was going on. And I added that extra 10k words that gave the detective a love interest, too. (This added nothing.)
I think I still managed to write it well but it killed my writing career. Because I’d got into some crazy position where I was having to second-guess the reader. I was trying to please them rather than write the book I wanted. And this bubbled up in my sub-conscious one afternoon in Stirling and I advised a wannabe writer not to make my mistake.
Because I had royally screwed up and ended the career I had always craved.
It took some getting over.
But I am back. Good Samaritans doesn’t feel like my fourth book. It feels like my first. It feels the way that Girl 4 felt. It is raw. I’ve got my voice back. I’ve written it how I wanted to.
Then, just a few weeks ago, I was struggling with my fifth book. But, of course, it’s not really my fifth book. If Good Samaritans is my first book, then this is my second book. Again.
And I was terrified of ending my career for a second time. I was putting up barriers where they need not be.
And I had no idea until an incredibly brave and nervous writer stood up in front of a bunch of people she didn’t know and admitted that she was scared. I really hope that what I said to her managed to nudge her out of that state and helped her push on with her book. Because the realisation that came to me from that has been invaluable.
I’m proud of Good Samaritans in the same way I was proud of Girl 4. The book I am writing now is the book I want to write and I’m writing it how I want to write it. It’s fucked up, and not like Good Samaritans. It could do badly. It could go so horribly wrong. But that should be the reason to try it, the excitement of the written word. Not the fear of failure. —