DIANA CHRISTMAS wasn’t meant to be a novel.
It was meant to be a long short story, a novella. It was a challenge I made to myself last August: to write and have out a new novella by Christmas.
My attempt, valiant though it was, failed when I realised I just had too much story and too many ideas – there were too many themes to explore – for it to be anything other than a novel. Not the longest novel in the world, admittedly, but a novel nonetheless.
The reason I originally saw it as a shorter work was that it wasn’t quite on brand. I’ve always seen myself as an author of supernatural thrillers. It felt that my calling was writing tense scary stories where things don’t only go bump on the wooden floorboards, they rip off the protagonist’s toes.
But none of that describes DIANA CHRISTMAS. This book is a straight noir thriller with nothing eerie or uncanny at all.
And now that it’s about to be published, I find it’s a book and a world, which refuses to let go of me.
Not only did DIANA CHRISTMAS grow, but I realised – as I finished it – that there was more than one book there. Even before I got to the final full stop, I was already missing her world and knew there had to be a follow-up.
In fact, I started writing the follow-up nearly straight away. The third book is also making great progress in my notepads, and I have a cracking idea for the fourth.
Suddenly the kind of books I write has taken a real shift. And I’m absolutely fine with that.
I am no longer exclusively an author of supernatural thrillers which border the edge of horror, I now also write straight thrillers about strong, but wronged, glamourous women.
And maybe this will confuse someone who delves casually into my work, wondering how the one thing relates to the other (or maybe I’m underestimating how connected all my books are, no matter where they might fall on the supernatural spectrum). Perhaps there will be one group of people who like one set of books and another group which prefers the other.
I honestly don’t know how it will play out or how my writing career will progress now that I’ve diversified. All I can say is that I’m really happy with how DIANA CHRISTMAS has turned out. No doubt that’s easy to see as I’m still so inspired by it. And hopefully I can persuade people who’ve read my previous stuff to read it, even though nothing goes bump in the night (or takes anyone’s toes off).
Once upon a time, I read a piece about Philip Roth, who asked if he didn’t write his books, who would? And that’s how I feel about DIANA CHRISTMAS. It’s a damn good book which has roared its way into existence, and – despite the fact it’s a departure for me – it’s a book only I could have written and I’m immensely proud of it.
I hope you enjoy!
Diana Christmas is published next week, and is available now for pre-order here.