More questions than answers.

One of the more interesting things about being an established author is that you often get hit up by friends-of-friends wanting to mine your mind for tips and tricks on becoming a pro writer (because, hey, it’s so easy).

It’s such a wide-N-deep topic that it would take days to just begin to scratch the surface – and the situation isn’t helped by constantly dancing goal-posts, given it’s almost as much ‘tech biz’ as ‘writing biz’, these days.

I’m now considering writing a non-fiction book at some point addressing this topic, if only so that when someone asks me a specific question, I can say, ‘See chapter three, section two.’, and save myself some serious time in the long term.

The bottom line is that to make it as a professional author you need to be able to write cracking stories, word crazy hard, and then experience dollops of epic luck. The bad news is that while you can handle the first two, the ‘luck’ component triggering a self-propelling cascade of success, is a Black Swan event.

This is why while there are 30,000 new Kindle books added each day to Amazon, there are not 30,000 new Stephen Kings and JK Rowlings created each day (only one or two – on a good year).

Or to put it another way, if you quit your day job to become the next Stormzy, you’re as likely to end up playing Frank Sinatra covers in the Dog and Duck tavern, as you are to find yourself packing out the O2 Arena with your brave new band.

Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.

Hell Fleet (Book 5 in the Sliding Void series).
Hell Fleet (Book 5 in the Sliding Void series).


I am an author of various fantasy, science fiction, crime and other genre books from Gollancz, Hachette and HarperCollins. Some day I hope to grow up and be an astronaut. Exploring Mars would be nice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.