I'd thought about writing on several occasions back in the 90's but didn't have the wherewithal to get past the first few chapters on any ideas I had so I gave it up as a bad idea. It wasn't until 2007 that I started again. This time I had more experience in project planning so I put that to good use and planned everything for the novel from start to finish. After all of the preparations, the writing of the novel was easy.
'KeyStroke' was the first novel I wrote (even though it is second to be published). I've had no training in writing whatsoever (and this may show in what I've done!) but one thing I did remember reading was to write about what you know. So I used KeyStroke almost as a test subject to see whether I could write and how well it would come out. I had the idea for 'Cock it & Pull it' at the same time as 'KeyStroke' but as I thought 'Cock it & Pull it' was a better story I didn't want to write it first in case I made a mess of it and so KeyStroke was born first.
The whole process from start to finish was a revelation for me. I loved it. I loved the characters and the story line. The characters became close friends of mine that I knew inside out, almost family. Living out and sharing their experiences through the good times and bad. It was such a depressing time after having finished the novel as those friends were gone. No more adventures with them and nothing new to learn with them or from them. It was a strange feeling. You could feel the same after watching a film or reading a book where you’ve built empathy for the characters, but the feeling is amplified when writing because you have created them and they are almost a part of you. But they can be visited again when re-reading the book and those experiences enjoyed once again.
Being very happy with the end result of 'KeyStroke', I had the confidence to start with 'Cock it & Pull it'. The story line was much more complex in this one with more characters so it took longer to plan and longer to write, but the finished article serves me with immense pride.
‘Cock it & Pull it’ was written for one primary reason. I love movies. Movies are a critical part of my leisure time and my collection of video, DVD and Blue-Ray numbers in the hundreds. It’s a very expensive activity considering how much Blue-Ray costs so I make considered purchases. However, I bought one movie with one of my favourite actors in, put it in the machine and settled down for some good action with cuppa and some snacks looking forward to the film. Well, within the first ten minutes I was absolutely staggered. I’m not going to mention what film it is or the actor, but it was dire beyond belief. The actor is American and speaks English. The film however had been dubbed in numerous places with a voice that sounded nothing like the actor. So you’d end up with half a sentence spoken by the actor himself and then the other half by the dubbed voice. What made it worse was when the dubbing of the actor can be heard but the actor isn’t in shot. Awful and very confusing. To make things worse, the plot was so thin and predictable that the whole thing was a waste of time and money. I almost shouted out loud after the film had finished having struggled all the way through to the end. My immortal words were “Damn! I could do so much better than that!”. And that’s when I decided. Put your money where your mouth is. So I did. ‘KeyStroke’ and ‘Cock it & Pull it’ was the result. I know it’s not a movie, I don’t have the budget for that, but novels were the next best thing. I think I have achieved my goal – I’ll leave it to you to decide whether I have or not.
'Cock it & Pull it’ is inspired by my love for British movies. My favourite director is Guy Ritchie and rightly or wrongly I wanted to emulate some of his style as his films are gritty and humorous. This is the kind of film and story lines that I find the most interesting and compelling.