As an ex-police officer, I find it easy yet at the same time startlingly difficult to write crime fiction. I'm a stickler for correct detail and procedure and this comes out in my writing, but there are times when you have to ignore that and go out on a limb for the sake of the story.
So my carefully pieced together plots have what I feel are gaping holes where I’ve had to add in something dramatic for the story, and I wince and wait impatiently for my readers to tell me that there's a hole the size of a small moon in the story.
Surprisingly, no one ever does, and this made me realize that as a writer I’m far more critical of my work than anyone else is.
When it comes down to it, readers are far more forgiving, getting caught up in the story and not seeing the pitfalls that I myself worry that they will fall into.
I think it comes down to trusting the reader as much as trusting yourself. If a reader enjoys the story, they will forgive any slight lapse, or better still not even notice it.
With the amount of detail I put in, there is also the concern that there is too much for it to allow the story to flow, but the feedback I’ve had is that it's fascinating to get a fictional story that is so true to real policing, particularly here in the UK where it's all knives, batons and tussles with the bad guys rather than chasing about with guns (which still occasionally happens, just nowhere near as much!)
Then of course there's the story itself. You want something believable yet dark, something to make the reader want to keep turning those pages until the story is done. After all, why write except to tell the stories that you have buzzing around in your head, fighting to get out against the everyday tasks that take up so much of our time and sap our creative spirit.
So if you want a true to life yet fictional slice of policing in the drug death capital of the UK, I strongly recommend that you warm up your Kindle and on the 21st December you head to Amazon and download a copy of The Follow. I can promise that you won't be disappointed.