Bukowski said that writing comes from the heart and you can't control what emerges. I tend to write stories about real people in extraordinary situations or extraordinary people in real situations. They are the books I like to read and they are the stories that come almost unbidden from inside. It's no effort really.
If my only choices were to write a spy, a science fiction or a fantasy novel, I would choose to concrete motorways for a living. Make a load more money too.
Yet that's apparently what sells over there. Genre stuff. Stuff you can easily pigeonhole.
The hardest book I wrote was The Ritual and that was horror. Never again. I doff my cap to Mssr's King and Straub. That was the hardest thing I've ever done.
(Apart from selling insurance door to door and being told, in my first and only management job, to sack a cleaner with mild learning difficulties who relied on the job to feed nine kids, several disabled. That was tough - took me a year to get over that.)
Over the past week or so, I've been having a look round independent publishing blogs and the Amazon forum
and discovered one or two things about the game I didn't know. I'd love to meet anyone from over there who writes the same type of stuff as me. Please get in touch.
My influences are, in no particular order; James Cain, the afore mentioned Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller (the lists - love his listing technique and his block paragraphing); Norman Mailer, Jim Thompson, Paul Auster, Elmore Leonard, the great Martin Amis, Liz Jensen, Glen Duncan, Chuck P (two or three books, not all), Cormac McC (I ripped off his no-speech mark dialogue style twice in five books), and with nods to some of the old school horror/science fiction writers such as King, Straub, Herbert, Sharman, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson, but they are just nods, glimmers from the past.
It's the real stuff I'm interested in and the weird and whacky people that live it. Now how do I get that across in the marketing in a world full of prosperous romance novelists and their secretaries! No one said it was going to be easy.