I remember when I was writing my short story, Framing And Entering, five years ago, sitting in the park in my lunch breaks with my phone, I kept wondering if it was any good. Now, that I’m on my second book, I find myself re-reading that story because I managed to hit the right tone for my character so well in places, I’m now using it to connect with his voice again.
At the time, I tried to write something grimdark, hoping it might get included in an anthology, (where the publisher said they would feature the best five submissions alongside popular authors of the genre), but my character was even back then just too cheeky and too much fun to be grimdark. I kept trying to darken the story and he kept pushing back.
Creating characters and finding their voices is not how I thought it might be. Sometimes it feels like they already exist and I’m just trying to connect with them, rather than creating them from scratch. Definitely true with Conor. Even five years ago he was pushing through the veil, wanting to be let into my world and set loose on the pages. A reader of the short story said “Tell me that’s not the last we’ll hear of Conor Drew!” One of my beta readers for the first book stated “Conor is just the best”.
Now I’m sure Conor’s grinning, – while I’m equally excited and nervous about writing an even better book than the first one was, – fully confident that it’s going to happen and thinking me silly to even hesitate.