Bloodstream Blog Tour with Luca Veste

Monday, 26 October 2015
Anyone who reads my blog might know that I am a huge Luca Veste fan and so I am incredibly excited to be kicking off the blog tour for his latest Murphy and Rossi novel, and first with his new publishers Simon & Schuster, Bloodstream. Bloodstream is available to buy right now and you can see my review on the blog later this week! Today Luca is talking all about his first day of writing a new book...



There's something about being a writer. Toiling away for hours on end, on your own, with only a bunch of words for company. It's an occupation which is pretty much veiled from outsiders - those who don't write, don't really understand how books, stories, poetry, come together. It's not something easily witnessed. I thought I would share what the first day of writing a new novel looks and feels like.

I start writing every book the same way. I choose a day, decide that's when I'm going to start and mark it on the calendar. I prepare myself for the new beginning, the blank page and its blinking cursor. Work myself up to it and then finally the day arrives.

First, breakfast. Well, actual first is getting two kids ready for school. Then, it's breakfast. Channel 4 is showing repeats of Everybody Loves Raymond and Frasier, which takes up most of the early morning. Eventually drag myself into the office. Mess with my chair for a bit. Wait for the laptop to load up, check to see if anything has happened on social media since five minutes ago, when I checked it on my phone. Check email. Like someone's Facebook status. Spend an hour thinking up an opening line. Check email. Reply to a couple, before going back to the blank word document. Stare into space and try and work out what the book's about. Decide that's not important right now, I just need an opening line. Decide I don't like the notebook I'm using for longhand notes and browse the internet looking at what is essentially the same paper, only bound differently. Then, give up and decide the one I have will do. Check email. Retweet a Guardian article. Stare at an empty whiteboard and make some marks on it which make little sense. Read the news. Spend another hour trying to think of something witty to tweet about a current news event, before discovering the joke I've been crafting was already used an hour ago. It's time for dinner (or "lunch" for those other types). Spend five minutes eating and fifty five minutes watching a repeat of How I Met Your Mother on E4. Read a Cracked article. Read three more. Realise the kids will be home in an hour and I've done nothing so far. Check email. Write the opening line. Delete the opening line. Write a longer opening line. Check email. Reply to a couple. Bounce a ball off the wall and catch it a few times. Get annoyed when the bounce goes askew and the ball ends up on the other side of the room. Delete longer opening line. Stare at books on my shelves and hate the people on the spines, as they've probably got sixty different opening lines stored up for just this occasion. Plus a nicer office, with walls perfect for bouncing balls off of them. The kids are home, just as I'm crafting the best opening line ever. Iain Banks and his grandmother exploding has nothing on this. The best and worst of times becomes the equivalent of a dark and stormy night. This is the greatest opening to a book ever. Listen to my six year old daughter tell me about something that happened in school. Try to keep up with kid politics and who doesn't like who. Ask questions in the right place. Congratulate and commiserate in the right manner. Turn back to that damn blinking cursor on the laptop screen.

Forget what the best opening line to a book ever was.

Stare a little longer. Decide I've done all I can and that tomorrow will be different. Go and cook tea (or "dinner" if you're one of those other types). Get kids to bed. Sit with my wife and watch TV. Stick headphones in and listen to Pink Floyd because Brian Cox is on and you have no interest in it. Go to bed. Lie in the darkness and realise what the perfect opening line to the book is. Fall asleep before you can make a note of it. Wake up the next morning. Have no memory of what the great idea you had was.

That's day one of starting a new book. It gets easier after that. Then, a little harder about a third of the way in. Then, much harder halfway in. Then, easier getting towards the end. Then, a mad sprint to the finish.

That's how a book is made. The veil is lifted.

Of course, each writer is different. And each experience is different. Eventually, the words are written, the story takes shape, themes are found, character voices become apparent. That first line leads to a second. Write and rewrite. The novel becomes whole.

You just have to keep going.

Make sure you follow the rest of the stops on the tour as there is some great content coming! 

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