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Free Fall


I’ve had some pretty scary times over the last decade or so.

I was once, for fifteen terrifying minutes, in command of a navy frigate on the Atlantic ocean. Me, alone, giving steering directions to the sailor on the helm. There were in excess of 250 people onboard.

I once found myself booted out of my home in the pale twilight of an otherwise ordinary Sunday afternoon, lamb roast in the oven, washing on the line. I had nothing but my clothes, my cat, $400 and a divorce on the horizon to claim as my own.

I teach young people for money. If that alone isn’t nervous-breakdown worthy, I don’t know what is.

But I’m putting it out there; the moment someone you care about and respect sits down to read your fiction manuscript for the first time inspires a fear unlike all others.

It’s one of the deepest kinds of fear. It’s a personal, bodily terror. Because having the responsibility for the lives of 250 people on a ship on the ocean – I’m not sure that really says much about my soul. Being dumped by a loser I was wasting my time with anyway – nope. Doesn’t say anything about my soul. But writing is the song of the soul. And when I give it over for scrutiny, as I have many times now, I fear for the lifeblood of that inner-born sound.

Enough criticisms could strangle the soul-music of a writer. I’m sure of it.

And don’t get me wrong – I’ve had my share. I read a review by some idiot recently that said that if I cut the back story of HADES and focused only on the front, I’d save paper, thereby helping the over-burdened natural environment. Thanks, jerkface.

The criticisms of someone you care about as deeply as I care about my fiancé, my publisher and my agent are different. The assessments of my publisher and agent wait behind email walls, but Tim read my latest manuscript, FALL, in front of me. I curled on the couch and watched him in the armchair over several days, frowning in that stern almost angry way he does at the pages, lips pressed together. Every time he put the book down, I ached. When he asked questions, they stung.

Imagine that this slow-burning terror comes out of a writer who already has a couple of scores on the board. My first two novels have been very successful. It makes me wonder about what criticism from loved ones and mentors does to the voice of young writers whose scoreboard is empty.

I’m pleased to report that the assessments of both publisher and the magnificent Tim are very good. I delighted this morning in watching him devour the last pages, exclaiming with surprise or horror, now and then, as his eyes danced over the lines.

My soul bellows today.


6 thoughts on “Free Fall

  1. All I can say is that your brother in-law Steve has put me onto you as a writer, and I am in awe. I cannot put Hades down and I’m already hunting for a copy of Eden.
    Pure delight sitting on the lounge with my cat, coffee, Tim Tams and Hades. 🙂

    Posted by Meeghan | March 18, 2015, 5:20 am
    • Aww, thanks Meeghan! So glad you’re enjoying it! That Steve’s a great bloke. I think I’ll keep him. haha Come on over to the Facebook page for more updates, if you’re not already there. I’m there almost daily, and have plenty of news on the sequels. Thanks again xx

      Posted by candicefoxauthor | March 18, 2015, 10:41 pm
  2. Whenwhenwhenwhenwhenwhenwhenwhen?

    Sorry to gush, but Hades blew me away and I absolutely devoured Eden. “Keen for more” would be an understatement!

    Posted by Andrew | March 25, 2015, 11:42 pm
  3. I read a lot of crime books and your 2 are up there with the best, in fact they are better than the best. I didn’t like Eric so I’m pleased about him but Eden and Frank are a real mismatched couple who I could read about for ages. Keep them coming Candice.

    Posted by Kevin Mulcahy | March 27, 2015, 7:29 am
    • Oh, thanks Kevin! What a fabulous way to start my day! So glad you enjoyed them. Keep them coming I will.

      Posted by candicefoxauthor | March 27, 2015, 10:30 pm
      • Thanks Candice, it is a pleasure to start your day off well. For some unknown reason I read Eden first and that whet my appetite to read Hades and when I think about it, that was probably not a bad way to read them. It certainly didn’t detract from the experience.
        Over the years I have read most or all of the books written by a host of crime writers such as McDermid, Cornwall, la Plante, Rankin, Evanovich, Slaughter, Moss, Fairstein, Sharp, Slaughter, Dexter, so when I say you are up there with the best, I am comparing you with an elite group.
        Strange how most of them are female authors.

        Posted by Kevin Mulcahy | March 28, 2015, 12:25 am

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