A few months ago I was asked to give a talk as part of the Essex Book Festival. It wasn’t my first talk, but it was quite a significant milestone in my career as an author, and the first time I realised that talking about writing was almost as much fun as doing so, and significantly less effort. You turn up, smile a lot, tell the audience a little about yourself, maybe read an extract, and then ask for questions. If nobody says anything we can all go home early. Job done. But that never happens.
I’ve been asked some pretty interesting questions over the past few months.
Here are a few off the top of my head:
How long did your book take you to write? (Six months)
What do you think your wife would make of it? (I think she’d like it.)
Are you happy now? (Yes. Happier than I’ve ever been.)
Are you still working in Credit Card Banking? (No.)
Were you the first choice to read the audio version of your book? (No – I had to audition for the part)
Have you got any other books coming out? (Oh yes.)
Have you met ever the real Peter Jones? (Hang on – am I somehow not real?)
There was one Gentleman at the EBF gig who asked if I was like other authors he’d heard of, and rise each morning at 4am to write – to which I laughed and said that was a ridiculous notion, and I didn’t get out of bed a minute before five.
That was back in March. Four months later and I’m astonished to report that I am indeed getting out of bed at 4am on a regular basis, and sitting at my desk, working, a few minutes later.
I have to say I’m a little perplexed as to why this should be the case. Initially I thought it was something to do with the sun rising around that time – but this morning it was so overcast and dark, it might as well of been October. Then I thought it might be my cat wanting me to let her out, but since I’ve relented and reintroduced the cat litter tray my dawn door opening duties are now surplus to requirements. It was only whilst I exchanged emails and text messages with fellow authors Della Galton, Wendy Steele and David Kendrick – all at around six this morning – did I realise that it might actually be something to do with the job. Authors it seems, are larks rather than owls.
Now why on earth would this be the case?
Is it that we love the work so much we can’t wait to get started?
Are you kidding me!? There have been times recently when working on my current book has felt like trying to wrestle an octopus into a paperbag!
Is it that it’s the only time of day when we won’t be disturbed?
Maybe – though the internet never sleeps and facebook is only a click away.
Is it that our brains are so chock full of exciting ideas that they wake us up in the morning so that we can write them all down?
Unlikely. In my case my brain is probably so sick of dreaming about formatting errors and kindle sales that it’s waking me up in the hopes I’ll do something more interesting!
The truth is I have no idea why my body clock seems to have shifted. All I know is that daft-O’clock in the morning now feels right somehow, and if I happen to lie in till seven or eight, half the day has gone!
But perhaps myself, Dave, Della, Wendy, and the unknown authors that the Gentleman from the EBF knows about, are in the minority. Perhaps it’s nothing to do with being an author. I’d love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, it’s 2pm – time to call it a day!