Over the years I've written for the sake of it, with plenty of encouragement from friends and a little success in the form
of non-commercial publication. In other words, there's been no money in it.
I had hoped to change that by springing my first two novels on the unsuspecting world of publishing.
The major imprints would be fighting each other to offer me a contract, I was sure, once they had set eyes on my
manuscripts. It took me a while to realise that the accountants had taken over the publishing houses, and unless
I could become a celebrity overnight by sharing a bed with a member of parliament and a tabloid press cameraman
then my chances of achieving instant literary fame were slightly less than those of that nice, softly-spoken Mister Paisley
Undaunted, I carried on writing. Why? Because I like it. What better reason could there be for doing
anything? There's a lot to be said for the creative process; getting the germ of an idea, sitting on it for a few weeks until
you can't ignore its wriggling anymore, then stretching it out into a story-line and beating it into shape over the next
year or two until it bears a vague resemblance to what might just pass for a poor relation to a novel in an illiterate
tribesman's prize penny-dreadful collection -- and throwing it into the bottom drawer before starting on your real
magnum opus. Hopefully one which isn't as long-winded as the previous sentence.
Both my finished novels are based loosely on my experiences in South Africa during the apartheid years.
I stress 'loosely' because my heroes break too many laws and step on too many establishment toes for me to be able
to return to South Africa if the authorities there got the notion that what I had written was purely autobiographical.
And I would love to see the republic again, even if only on holiday; one day, perhaps.
Substitutes Shadow Boxing Leaves No Bruises
I'm about halfway through my third novel. Going by the mundane working title of 'The IT Society', the story is set in
Britain in the next generation and centres on a young man who is looking for something unusual, and regrets finding
it in the form of some extraordinary technology. With luck it should be finished at the end of next year. I won't be
posting any excerpts from 'The IT Society' until then because I'm the bashful sort who doesn't like an audience while
I work. I can be so precious at times.
As you've probably gathered by now, the main point of this website is to promote my novels. I make no apology for
that; it's what a writer's home page is all about. But I'd like to think that the site can also contribute to the general
literary brew that is bubbling on the net. The World Wide Web is an exciting and forward-looking medium, not least
for writers, who are at last freed from the restraints of the slush pile and can reach a constantly expanding market.
And going beyond local writers groups they can enjoy a worldwide fellowship of like-minded souls. So, brothers and
sisters, drop in on my homepage any time you like. You're most welcome.
Please use your back button to return to Authors.
This page was created for Universal Love ©2009 with the kind permission of Frank Swales. All rights reserved.