Adrian Magson is the author of 13 crime/thriller novels and many short stories and articles. His latest novels are ‘Execution’ (Severn House – May 2013), 4th in the Harry Tate spy series, and ‘Death on the Pont Noir’ (Allison &Busby), 3rd in the Inspector Lucas Rocco series. A regular reviewer for Shots Magazine, he writes the ‘Beginners’ and ‘New Author’ pages for Writing Magazine, and is the author of ‘Write On! – The Writer’s Help Book’ (Accent Press).
Visit his website at www.adrianmagson.com
What inspires you to write?
I love to tell stories and meet the challenge of getting what is usually a germ of an idea out of the brain and onto paper. I’ve wanted to write professionally ever since I can remember, so I guess I’ve got my wish. And it never stops; once I’ve completed one project, it’s on to the next one swishing around in my brain.
Tell us about your writing process.
I treat it like a job. I sit down in the morning and keep going until I have finished a specific job or feel that
I’m in danger of over-cooking it. In between writing, I’m checking markets and doing research. I write directly onto the screen, often blasting out an idea in capitals, just to get it down. Then I rework it until it makes sense. And so it continues…
I write by the seat of my pants. I’ve tried planning before, but ALWAYS go off at a tangent, or see another way of telling a particular scene… which then impacts on any plans I might have made. So I just let fly and see where it takes me.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I certainly see them as real enough, because they must have realistic ways of dealing with problems. Their voices also have to be real for the character. It’s no good having a college professor speaking like a gang-banger, for example, or an old lady from a very poor, uneducated background using convoluted phraseology (like that).
They must also have a humour, or a way of looking at things that is essentially their own; this is what makes each one different.
What advice would you give other writers?
WRITE THE STORY. Lots of people talk about it, lots dream about it – some even start but get bogged down by it. Quite simply, you can’t judge how good it is, or see where it’s going – or whether it has form or logic – until it’s finished. More importantly, nobody else can judge it, either, whether friend, mentor, agent or publisher. Write their story – even in rough form – then go back and edit, edit, edit.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I regained the electronic rights of five books, and decided to put them out as ebooks myself. I’ve also written short story compilations, which are virtually impossible to get published conventionally, and the obvious choice was DIY. And so far, I haven’t looked back!
For new authors, I would advise trying to get a traditional deal first for your main works. But while doing that, why not pen some short works and put those out as ebooks? It’s worth a try and gives you total control. If after lengthy efforts to get a trad book deal, then I would suggest going the DIY route. But always remember this: make it as professional as you can. A badly written book, poorly formatted with tons of typos will soon get dumped – and readers remember them. Quality will always rise to the surface. Be PROUD of what you write – but only if you’ve done the very best you can.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Publishing is changing so fast, we’re all on a learning curve. And one thing’s certain – it will continue to do so with new technology and methods of delivery. Whether paper books go out or not, who knows? I don’t think so. But ebooks offer so much more control and independence to authors in the way that the music business did.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Crime, spy thrillers, women’s short fiction, writers’ advice
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print