If a tooth costs a tooth and an eye costs an eye
When a man hits his wife, then it’s his turn to die
Furious that the courts and police can’t prevent respected surgeon John Kirby from beating his wife, Sally Mellors steps in to save her. Permanently…
But Grace Kirby isn’t the only one who needs saving and Sally quickly discovers she’s taken on a much bigger job than she’d thought.
With her unique ability to blend justice with fun, Sally sets joyfully about the business of removing the monsters from women’s lives, but is she in danger of becoming a monster herself?
As her friends in the police get ever closer, Sally has some serious questions of her own to answer.
Additional Maps of where An Implacable Woman is set–https://ktfindlay.com/an-implacable-woman-maps/
“Where do you get your ideas from?” is the question pretty much every author gets asked, but what do people actually mean when they ask it?
Most of the time they’re aiming high, and they’re really asking “Where did you get the overall idea for that book?” which one can usually answer. But I think it’s an even more interesting question when you drop into the contents of the book itself, because then you’re asking where the ideas for the scenes, the interactions, the conversations, the personalities, and of course the action, all come from. That’s an awful lot of ideas to come from somewhere!
Perhaps the most important thing to get out of the way right at the start is that this is not a linear process, for a fiction author anyway. I’ve written non-fiction business oriented manuals that were over 80,000 words long, and that’s a completely different process. In a non-fiction book you tend to start off with a much clearer and much more complete picture of what the book is going to be. Even the way the material is arranged within the book is more likely to be constrained by exactly who your audience is and how they are going to be using the book. For example, you’d structure a concept building book quite differently to a pure reference book.
In fiction you have a lot more choices, and a lot of it’s down to your own personal taste. Terry Pratchett used what he called “The Valley Of Clouds” technique, whereas Larry Niven uses a system of cards. Both were/are highly successful authors, but their ways of working were so at odds that when they did try to write a book together, they decided that it just wasn’t going to work.
Now I’ve never communicated with either gentleman, but I’m reasonably confident that those two approaches will mean that ideas will appear at different times and in different ways. It doesn’t matter if you think one would be better than the other, just that you acknowledge that they’re different.
So if you’re an aspiring author and you want to know where the ideas come from, explore different ways of working until you find the one that works best for you. When you’ve got the right one, the ideas will come by themselves because you’ll be in the right headspace for you.
Another key thing to take on board is that “the idea” is not the be all and end all. In fact it’s just the beginning. You can have all the ideas you want, but if you don’t get them onto paper, in a way that works, in language that other people will respect and actually want to read, then you’re not actually a writer, or at least not a successful one. Writers write…
This is a huge topic and we’ve only just begin, but let’s finish today by asking ourselves what makes a good idea good. This is where we bring out our proverbial pieces of string because this is such a subjective question. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick wasn’t well received by his publishers because they didn’t like the idea of a whale. They thought it would sell better if Captain Ahab was fixated on some attractive lady of some kind, rather than a large, smelly, hyper aggressive sea mammal. And they may have been right, because Moby Dick only sold about 100 copies in Melville’s own lifetime. Only later did it become a timeless classic.
So you might come up with an idea that you think is absolutely fabulous, but that nobody else “gets”. The question then is, do you back yourself (assuming you truly believe in it) or do you put to one side and look for something else? I don’t have the answer to that. Only you do. It’s your life, your time, after all. You have to decide what to spend it on.
Still there? Well, if you’re still grumbling about the idea that the idea isn’t enough on its own, and you don’t want to spend much effort actually writing the thing, try telling the story out loud to someone and record yourself doing it. Play it back a month later and see what you’ve got. (A month gives you more perspective than you’d believe…) And if even that’s too much, hire a ghost writer.
Thank you, K.T. Findlay and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Ever since I first saw James Burke’s wonderful Connections series, I’ve been fascinated by the way a single new idea can change the course of history. The more I learned, the more intrigued I became about how some ideas stuck while others initially sank without trace, only to resurface perhaps hundreds of years later to change everything. The first Prince Wulfstan book, In Two Minds, explores this idea not just by introducing new ideas into a medieval society, but by showing just how difficult it would be to pull that off in practice.
I’m equally fascinated by the justice system. People expect it to be fair, which is why we allow it to resolve our disputes instead of simply taking revenge ourselves. But watch an individual case play out in court and it can seem more like a high stakes game between lawyers than the pursuit of absolute truth. And if you think it’s a game, do you still accept the result if you lose? Is that still justice? At what point will a perfectly normal, perfectly decent person snap, and what happens when they do? Is it possible to plunge into the darkness of revenge and remain the normal, decent, happy person you were before you started? Enter Sally Mellors, who’s going to give it a damned good try in A Thoughtful Woman.
I live on a small farm where I fit in my writing alongside fighting the blackberry, and trying to convince the quadbike that killing its rider isn’t a core part of its job description.
WHAT I ENJOY AS A WRITER
I love the moment when an idea jumps out at me. The trick then is to catch it, because I could be dreaming in bed, walking the hills, trying not to kill myself on the quad bike… Anywhere in fact, except in front of the computer. Obviously. Slowly the whole thing coalesces and I begin to write it down, fleshing out the gaps, understanding why these people do what they do. I’m the first person in the world to “hear” their story, and I get to write it. That’s exciting! It’s what Terry Pratchett called “The Valley Filled With Clouds” technique and it’s huge fun.
I also love the research needed to make my fictional worlds as real as possible. It could be learning about the first mountain bikes, or exactly how medieval clothes were made and worn, or the limitations of police radios, or how to blow glass, draw wire, or a thousand other things. I learn new stuff every single day, and that’s fun too.
WHAT I TRY TO ACHIEVE
First and foremost I want to entertain, to make you want to turn that next page instead of doing whatever it is you should be doing! I also want you to enjoy the journey. Even in their darkest moments, I like my books to have an underlying vein of humour that will make you smile, or even laugh. There’s nothing wrong with dark, gritty tales, redolent with unrelenting misery. They’re just not what I want to write. I want you to finish my books and return to the world with a spring in your step.
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The UK link is https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088HJJ6NW/
The Indian link is https://www.amazon.in/dp/B088HJJ6NW/
The Canadian link is https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B088HJJ6NW/