date: 29 May 2017 at 11:33:24

The answer seems simple: we write for ourselves.

That is, we have a story and we feel that we have to tell it.

One of us comes up with an idea, which we discuss and debate, and – if it seems promising – we set to work on it, researching the background, the characters and so on. Then we develop an outline – a general overall view of the story – and we plot it out chapter by chapter. At that point we’re ready to get down to the real work, and start writing chapters, choosing the ones we feel we can handle without too much difficulty. Months later, we find ourselves with a first draft that needs revising, boosting in places, thinning out in others, so as to set a pace and maintain suspense. After revising and rewriting, it’s time for someone else to take a look at it, and this is where our editor comes into play.

Of course, we’ve been writing with the editor in mind all the time.

He or she is our bread and butter. The editor will decide whether the story stands up, or not. We’ve always been lucky in this respect. The editors at Faber & Faber in the UK, St Martins Press, USA, and, more recently, with Severn House, who now publish us on both sides of the Atlantic, have always gone along with our ideas. But they could have raised objections. They could have said no, that’s not for us. And so we find that at a subconscious level, we’ve actually been writing for the people who are the editor’s bread and butter, that is, the good people who buy the books that the publisher decides to include on his or her season’s list. In a word, we’ve been writing for you.

So, that’s it in a nutshell. We write for ourselves, but we’re working for the reader. If we have fun, and the reader has fun, then we can feel that we’ve done a good job.     

Incidentally, our latest novel, Lone Wolf, will be in the shops the day after tomorrow.

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