“Thirteen-month-old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland while her parents are just yards away.
Three days later the distraught father turns up at private investigator Charlie Cameron’s office. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has stolen his daughter. And why.
Against his better judgment Charlie gets involved in the case and when more bodies are discovered the awful truth dawns: there is a serial killer whose work has gone undetected for decades.
Is baby Lily the latest victim of a madman?
For Charlie it’s too late, he can’t let go.
His demons won’t let him.”
I am absolutely delighted to be today’s stop on the Games People Play blog tour. Games People Play is the first book in the Charlie Cameron series written by author Owen Mullen and published by the incredible Bloodhound Books. I’m excited to have Games People Play on my TBR and can’t wait to read it. Between you and I, I’m hoping to add book 2 in the series, Old Friends and New Enemies to the list soon too.
But there’s no point talking about book 2 when we haven’t celebrated the release of the first book in the series. So today I have a treat for you, and it’s something that I don’t feel I’ve had enough of on damppebbles recently…it’s a guest post (I do love a guest post! For new visitors to the blog my husband thinks I should coin the phrase, ‘I do love a guest post’ as my catchphrase. He’s probably right…) So without further ado I will hand the floor over to Owen Mullen who is going to tell you about the best and worst things about being an author.
The Best And Worst Things About Being an Author
I started writing with two objectives in mind. First, to join the great cannon of literature, and stand shoulder to shoulder with Dickens and Steinbeck; Mark Twain and Evelyn Waugh. My dream was to see my books on a shelf next to these awesome talents.
And second, I wanted to crack a few bob out of it.
Like anything else there are pros and cons. Taking an idea and developing it into a story with characters that almost become friends and a plot that keeps me interested, never mind anybody else, is a thrill. Getting the result published is another deal entirely.
Often the solitary aspect of writing is described as a down-side. Not for me. I am at my happiest in the worlds I have created; much more comfortable than the real one. And when the story comes together, the hundreds of hours spent creating it is time well spent. In the early days I would print out the final manuscript, with my name neatly typed on the cover, and sit it on the dining-room table. The feeling of satisfaction is hard to understand. I tend not to do that now although there is always a sense of achievement when the work is completed.
These and other pleasures come with writing, but, without doubt, the best experience is when someone – usually a stranger – tells me they have read my book, loved it, and can’t wait for the next one. People have been very kind to me along the way; it is appreciated, and I don’t forget it. I write to be read; otherwise, why bother?
I haven’t had a bestseller – yet – but can imagine that will be another high.
On the other hand, a book doesn’t just happen. It takes commitment, patience and belief, and even then an author might not reach the finish line. I have a routine. I write every morning for five hours, five days a week. No surprise the pages mount up. But I don’t always feel like it. Occasionally I baulk at the discipline required. Some days are more productive than others and the feeling of not quite producing enough isn’t pleasant: like a pain that has to be worked through. At times I would rather squander my time in any way that didn’t involve writing.
And now and then I do just that.
But I always return because this is who I am.
The parts of the process I don’t enjoy are mostly not connected directly with writing stories. The book business is a cruel and impersonal place. Rejection has to be borne because it comes with the territory and until a writer is a commercial success they don’t rate. The realisation that it is a business can be a rude awakening. Not just a business; one steeped in subjectivity. It can be hard to accept that your book is rejected because ‘We have just signed a Scottish author’ or ‘We tried a Scottish author last year and got our fingers burned.’
And unbelievable but true: ‘This book has everything. I know I’m going to regret turning it down.’
Every author I know has a collection of horror tales about how casually their work has been dismissed – often without even being read. I will put my experiences of that on paper when I’m sufficiently detached from the memories. Rejection hurts. And you never get used to it. At least I didn’t. But I kept going.
Though on balance, it’s no contest: the pleasure outweighs the pain. Then there is the knowledge that the longer you do it, the better you become. I feel privileged to be able to entertain folk I’ve never met, and the fact that someone somewhere may be reading an Owen Mullen book at this minute is a unique feeling.
No wonder I love it.
Many thanks Owen for such a personal post. I must say, you are truly committed to your art; writing for five hours a day, five days a week. Wow! As for the rejection, that is exactly why I’ve never tried to write my own novel, I just couldn’t take the rejection. That and the fact that it would be no good!
Games People Play by Owen Mullen was published in the UK by Bloodhound Books on 16th January 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook format | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads | Bloodhound Books |
When he was ten, Owen Mullen won a short story competition and didn’t write anything else for almost forty years. In between he graduated from Strathclyde University with a Masters in Tourism and a degree in Marketing, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, and had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; on occasion he still performs. He returned to Scotland to run a management consultancy and a marketing agency. He is an Arsenal supporter and a serious foodie. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow – where the Charlie Cameron books are set – and their villa in the Greek Islands.