‘Fox Hunter’ was released as an eBook last month and will be out in hardback on the 11th October 2017, published by W. W. Norton & Company. This is the 12th book in the Charlie Fox series.
I was asked by the lovely Ayo Onatade if I would like to take part in this blog tour. Although I have never read any of Zoë Sharp’s books I thought this series sounded interesting and so I was delighted to participate. Zoë has written a guest post, but first here’s what ‘Fox Hunter’ is all about.
‘The dead man had not gone quietly … There was a time when I would have given everything I owned to be the one responsible for that.’
Charlie Fox will never forget the men who put a brutal end to her military career, but she vowed a long time ago she would not go looking for them.
Now she doesn’t have a choice.
Her boss and former lover, Sean Meyer, is missing in Iraq where one of those men was working as a private security contractor. When the man’s butchered body is discovered, Charlie fears that Sean may be pursuing a twisted vendetta on her behalf.
Sean’s partner in their exclusive New York close-protection agency needs this dealt with—fast and quiet—before everything they’ve worked for is in ruins. He sends Charlie to the Middle East with very specific instructions:
Find Sean Meyer and stop him. By whatever means necessary.
At one time Charlie thought she knew Sean better than she knew herself, but it seems he’s turned into a violent stranger. As the trail grows more bloody, Charlie realises that unless she can get to Sean first, the hunter may soon become the hunted.
MY WRITING DAY
I’d love to be able to say I have an incredibly organised and unfailingly productive writing day, but sadly I’ve never quite been able to manage it. Some days the words just flow, and others every dot and comma has to be sweated out of the keyboard. It can be rather like trying to fight a lion in a phone box.
I still prefer to work from handwritten notes. Preferably written in pencil on an A4 pad rather than a small notebook. I call it using my neck-top computer, and claim I’m saving up for an iBrain. Somehow, crossing out and starting again in pencil seems less of a false start than it would in pen. Pen would be better, because I could read it in low light, but I’ve tried, and pencil just connects my mind better to the page.
Writing up my notes usually produces far more words on screen than there were to start with. The notes become a springboard, and I’ll often stop typing and go back to pad and pencil for the next section. As long as I’m making story, I’m happy.
I try to do chunks of about 500 words at a time, two or three of them a day, and editing the earlier work as a stepping stone into the next batch. I’ll often go and do other things during the day and go back to writing in the evening. I don’t have TV, so it seems natural to simply keep working.
I know other writers who are far more productive than this, but also those who take longer to complete a book. We all work at our own pace, and the only person you can compare yourself to, ultimately, is … yourself.
I’m planning a non-fiction book over the winter. For this I’m going to try using dictation software. I stayed with a friend recently, fellow crime thriller author JS Law, who uses it and reckons to produce thousands of words a day by this method. Considering the trouble I have getting the voice-activated function on my phone to dial numbers for me when I’m driving, I’m approaching this experiment with some trepidation.
Before I start on a book, I do tend to plan quite a bit. I’ve tried the seat-of-the-pants method and it just doesn’t work for me. Instead, I go for a slightly more halfway-house approach. I plan the main events of the storyline, but not the reactions of the characters to those events, preferring to leave that aspect as a more organic process.
However, I do keep a detailed summary as I go. Just a paragraph of each chapter, with Day 1, Day 2, etc, at the start of it, and whether there’s a time gap from the previous chapter, or if the chapter break came in the middle of a scene. My instinct always used to be to finish writing a scene and end the chapter there, but I’ve found that, more frequently, it’s better to break in the middle of a scene, both to keep the chapters short and to make it that bit harder for the reader to put the book aside.
I keep a note of the gist of conversations, of any action, and if any characters are carrying injuries I need to remember for forthcoming scenes. This not only helps me keep track of the story as I’m writing, but also makes edits easier afterwards. It’s less cumbersome to work out where a subplot needs to be threaded in to a story, or two characters amalgamated, if you’re working with a 20-page summary rather than a full typescript.
And I do try to end each day’s writing not quite at the end of a scene. Even if I only type the opening sentence of the next chapter, it’s better than opening up the computer the following day only to stare at that dreaded blank page!
About Zoë Sharp
Zoë Sharp was born in Nottinghamshire not too far from the site of Robin Hood’s famous oak tree, but ran away to sea when she was seven. (OK, her parents took her to live on a boat, but she does have an imagination, after all.) She hand-wrote her first novel at age 15, which her father kindly typed up. Publishers gave it ‘rave rejections’. She decided to write a crime novel partly because the police told her she was not allowed to beat up the two teenagers who stole her first motorcycle. She’s been creating havoc in print ever since. www.ZoeSharp.com
‘Fox Hunter’ is available to buy as an eBook from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/FOX-HUNTER-mystery-thriller-Charlie-ebook/dp/B0756FV4YY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507055156&sr=1-1&keywords=fox+hunter+zoe+sharp
You can pre-order it in hardback from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fox-Hunter-Charlie-Thrillers/dp/1681774380/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1507055156&sr=1-1