We really liked Tim Lebbon’s previous novel Relics which introduced us to the secret world beneath the streets of London, where a black market is specialising in the body parts of creatures few ever believed existed; satyrs and centaurs, Nephilim and wraiths. Angela found herself dragged into this dark world to rescue her missing partner Vince and uncovered a gruesome secret: these fantastic creatures were not as mythical as she first believed, and the supernatural Kin had become prey in a gruesome hunt between collectors.
The action moves to the USA in The Folded Land the second part of Lebbon’s Relics trilogy and Angela is discovering that the Kin is bigger – and angrier – than she had previously imagined. But a supernatural uprising isn’t the only problem, because around the country hundreds of people are becoming the victims of double lightning strikes and then simply disappearing, so when Angela’s niece becomes the latest casualty she and Vince find themselves on the hunt for the missing girl before it’s too late…
Sounds good doesn’t it, we think so which is why we grabbed the chance to talk to Tim about how he sets about his writing day: ‘The processes involved in writing every novel is a little different. The Folded Land is my 42nd published novel (including eight in collaboration with Christopher Golden), but I’m still learning all the time.
Over the years my daily writing routine has fallen into a pretty recognisable format: Up by 7:30, see my son off to school at 8:00, breakfast whilst checking emails and doing all the social media stuff I wished I could do without but know I probably can’t. My wife leaves for work just after 8:30, when I make another cup of tea and sit down, alone in a quiet house, to think about starting work. The important phrase here is ‘think about’, because I rarely start writing before 9:30 or sometimes 10:00. It takes that long to stare down the blank page.
Some mornings are different. I’ve written elsewhere about how I exercise six days out of seven, and some days there are two sessions per day. This often means that I’ll go for a run or bike ride (outside, or sometimes on my turbo trainer indoors) first thing in the morning. That depends on time of year, weather, and the other whether (whether I can be motivated enough!).
So, once I’ve finally started writing, that goes on til about 11, when I’ll make a cup of coffee and have a snack. And try to avoid checking social media. I write on until 12:30 or 1:00, then make lunch. Oh, but it’s sunny outside. Time for a bike ride, perhaps, if I haven’t already trained. So that’s another 90 minutes or two hours out of the day, with preparation, the ride, a shower afterwards…
I’ll often work through the afternoon until my wife and son are home, both before 4pm. And although after that time I still sit at my desk, it’s very rare that I’m actually writing. Having people in the house is a distraction, even if they’re trying to be quiet. So latefternoon is when I’ll do the business side of writing––emails, calls, Skypes etc. I’ll also spend this time working on peripheral stuff, like interviews, blurbs, and perhaps make notes on where I want the story I’m working on to go tomorrow.
So that’s a standard day, but as I said, most books have a slightly different approach, and The Folded Land was no different. For this book, set largely in the USA, I started most days with twenty minutes of ‘research’. I called it research … in reality it was surfing the internet, looking at images of areas I was setting the novel, reading about North American flora and fauna, researching legends and myths from that continent (I needed more Kin!), and generally trying to get my American writing head on. Some days it took longer than others. During this time I usually listened to music from the USA and Canada (I’m a big music fan, look elsewhere on this blog tour for another blog about that), and though I was never really conscious of the effect this reading and listening was having, I like to think it prepared me to sit down and start writing. Between all the coffee-making, lunch eating, bike riding and running, that is.’
Tim Lebbon’s The Folded Land is out now from our good friends at Titan Books price £7.99.