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The problem: I was a full time screenwriter, but now I wanted to write a novel – how could I find the time?

The solutions: a) get up an hour earlier every day, b) acquire a time machine – AKA noise cancelling headphones…

I bought a tiny laptop and a pair of headphones that stayed with me all the time.  Suddenly opportunities to write sprang up all over the place.  Every time I had a meeting, I’d arrive an hour early, plant myself in the nearest coffee shop, put on the headphones and write (Costa is my favourite, you can make a cappuccino and some biscuits last for ages, and no-one throws you out).  Trains are another great place to write, especially 1 hour journeys – just enough to get a couple of pages done, not so long that you get bogged down.

Even using all these spare bits of time, it still took three years to write the first three drafts of Monkey Wars!  Let’s hope the next one is a bit quicker.


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