On Friday I finished my latest manuscript, tentatively titled Dangerous to Know, and sent it off to my agent. It sounds a straightforward process but that doesn’t really describe how I feel when I finish a book.
As I got closer to the end I became obsessed with finishing. I stole hours morning, noon and night to spend more time with my characters. I lived in their world. Even when I was walking the dog I was seeing nineteenth century London in front of me rather than twenty first century Oxfordshire. I felt compelled to finish and at the same time, anxious about what I would do once the book had gone. It was the same feeling I get when I’m reading a particularly enjoyable novel. I desperately want to find out what happens but at the same time I feel bereft when I read the final word.
I don’t suppose every author feels the same when they finish a book – if I’ve learned anything from being a writer it’s that different people write in different ways and there’s no right and wrong way of doing it. But I wandered round like a lost soul for several days after I had finished. I missed my characters. I worried about whether anyone would like the story.
So there’s only one solution. I treat myself to a few historical trips out and then... I start the next book!