I don't know about anyone else, but the immense relief I feel when finishing a book is only comparable to the realisation that the test results I'm reading, telling me I have six weeks to live, were actually addressed to the noisy neighbour who plays his music at 1,000 decibels until 6:00am and pisses through my letterbox for a laugh.
I've spent five months writing, editing, proofreading and developing a set of red wine-stained teeth (offset with a subtle hint of nicotine-saffron). My loyal readers, who really should find a job or, at the very least, a more entertaining blog to read, will remember my flippant attitude towards the speeling and punktuwation mistakes made in FBK 1. Well, I eventually got round to sorting them out, after the wrath of the literati reviewers.
I knew I couldn't risk publishing The United Kingdom of Islam before I made sure it was as damned near perfect as possible. So, I spent a full six weeks proofreading the book. Three times I edited that bloody book, then I compared the final version with my (expensive) editor, and guess what? My final cut was actually better. She missed a hell of a lot of mistakes. I paid her in full, of course, but at least she won't be spending any of it until they release her from the intensive care unit. A Jeep Cherokee versus an editor? The Jeep will win every time.
By the time I'd read UKI for the millionth time, I actually began doubting it's worth. I was bored with it. I even considered not publishing the book. I'd just received a bad review for one of the other books (because I'd used a comma instead of a semi-colon type thing) and my confidence was about as high as a veruca. But, in typical ML Stewart fashion, I thought f##k them! I didn't stain my teeth red and yellow for nothing, and published.
Now, other new authors who read this blog will know what I'm talking about. It's the fear of rejection, the terrifying second before you hit the SUBMIT button, the nightmares you have about the correct use of capital letters, hyphenation and what the f#ck is a semi-colon actually for, who invented it, and what sort of drugs was he using when he did?
But then I received my first review. Now, you all know about my aversion to self-trumpet blowing, but when the UK's top-selling crime / thriller writer, and author of more than thirty bestsellers, wets the brass mouthpiece for you it's only polite to attempt a tune. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to use the review for blatant advertising, in fact, the only place it'll be mentioned is here, on this blog. What I'm attempting to say is, as I've said time and time before, never give up.
Here's the five-star review from Mr. Stephen Leather. A man who has taken the time to read a nobody's book, reviewed it and given said author the confidence to continue writing until his teeth fall out.
Hard-hitting story, written with flair. 25 Jan, 2012.
ML Stewart caused a bit of a stir with his eBook bestseller The Facebook Killer so I was interested in seeing this latest book. I was especially interested because for years I've been playing around with plots set in a UK under Sharia law. I was looking at a murder investigation with a Christian inspector shadowed by a Muslim sergeant and looking at how crimes might be investigated differently from the way they are now. All I have is notes and I doubt the book will ever be written. MLS has taken a different route with his novel and it's a cracker, though not for the faint-hearted. What I noticed immediately is the way the writing flows. Most self-published eBooks read like they've been written by amateurs but MLS writes like a pro. His descriptions of a UK under Muslim control are clever - I loved the idea of the London Eye being used as a rotating gallows for instance. It's very much an alternative reality type of story, and you have to suspend quite a lot of belief as you read it, but that doesn't take away from the story in the least. It's quite violent and so won't please everybody but I enjoyed it.
Mr. Leather's website has excellent advice to other new authors.
That's it for today folks. I have a trumpet lesson booked for seven o'clock.
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