147,958 Words

Just for the hell of it, I added up the words in the three Nick Temple Files. The total is above. Now admittedly, these are not long books; they're not meant to be. But when you add it all up, nearly 150,000 words of writing is not an insignificant amount of effort, if I do say so. That's one of the things about writing. Until I started doing it I had no idea what it would take to pump out a chapter, or a book, or three books. I imagine that each writer has his or her own approach to the task of putting together a book. With the Nick Temple Files, after coming up with the basic plot, I just started hacking away. The first draft of Switchback came in at just over 40,000 words, not enough to constitute a bona fide novel, so I went back and fleshed out the characters, the action, the dialogue, and the descriptive passages, all the while leaving the plot alone. The first draft of The Heraklion Gambit just came piling out almost all at once, and in about two months I had a complete manuscript that needed little except for polish, polish, and more polish. I started Silent Vector almost the moment I finished The Heraklion Gambit. But this and that came up, so I put it down for a couple of months. When I picked it back up, the whole story was floating around in my head and it wasn't much more than a matter of putting it down on paper, a process that took just over two months to produce a workable first draft.

No doubt I'd like to see the books do well, as would my publisher, as would my wife! But in all honesty, the process of putting them together, which culminates when I've got a copy in my hands, is remarkably rewarding. It shouldn't come as a surprise that taking nearly 150,000 words and arranging them in a way that they constitute three complete novels is, in and of itself, a challenging and, therefore, highly satisfying experience.