Linwood Barclay is a #1 internationally bestselling author of 13 novels including Trust Your Eyes, A Tap on the Window and No Safe House. The story in Trust Your Eyes resulted in a bidding war between film giants Universal and Warner. His most recent books are Broken Promise and Far From True.
Writing a book may only take Linwood Barclay six months, but the other six months are no walk in the park. Linwood talks about his busy schedule following the completion of a book. “I thought that I would be sitting poolside or sitting on the deck with my feet up lounging around. First of all, a rough draft does take me two months but then I usually have to do a rewrite with my editor’s help. And then there is proofing.
“My anticipation was that writing a book a year would occupy six months. I thought that I would have six months off to do nothing. Then they said, ’We would like you to tour Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand’.”
Globe trotting in the name of promotion
“Then my US publisher said, ’We want you to do a seven-city US tour.’ Then my Canadian publisher said, ’We want you to do a Canadian tour.’ And then they said, ‘We want you to go to the big annual mystery writer’s conference in the US, Bouchercon’. And then I realised that this is all great but I thought that I would have a lot of free time. It has not worked out that way and believe me I’m not complaining. But it’s funny.
“I have a very good friend named David Hewson who writes thrillers in England. He also had been a columnist for the London Times. He said that when he quit that job he expected to have all of this free time and he found that the business of books expanded to fill all of that other time. That’s what has happened to me. “But I think what that also means is evidence that the books have appealed to a lot of people and that’s what has kind of made this happen, this extra sort of touring about. So I’m not complaining.”
Linwood's tip: Persevere
“Just persevere, to keep going. I wanted to be a thriller writer when I was in my twenties. It didn’t happen. This may be incredibly discouraging news for aspiring thriller writers but the thing was it was a dream that I never let go of. I kept at it. It happened a lot later than I might have hoped but it did happen. So I think that … take the rejections. Don’t worry about them. It doesn’t matter how many rejections you might get you just have to persevere and keep going.”
Listen to the Australian Writers’ Centre’s spine-tingling Murder and Mayhem podcast here.