I’m going to write a whole novel in a day.

I was listening to the Tim Sullivan episode of the Bestseller Experiment podcast (really good episode, very inspiring) and it got me thinking. The idea of writing a whole novel in a day came up… and I’ve decided to give it a bash.

It has been done before. When I published my first book back in 2011, there was another indie author skulking around the forums who did it. Nick Spalding wrote Life… With No Breaks in a single sitting. It was impressive and it did very well, launching an incredibly successful career.

I’ve been doing a bit of research and it’s proving difficult to find other examples. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne was written in two and a half days. That’s the shortest time period I’ve been able to find (in an admittedly brief Google search).

I’m going to aim for 50k. That means I’ll have to write just over 2k every hour for 24 hours. No sleep. Short breaks for food. A lot of coffee. And a pillow for my arse which will no doubt be aching by the 12th hour.

I have an advantage. In order to do it I’m going to be adapting a screenplay that I’ve already written: The Mask Collector.

There is a very good reason for not starting a story from scratch. The thing that slows me down most is trying to work out what happens next. All that thinking has already been done. If I were to start from scratch and force my way through a first draft of something new I would end up with a very bad incoherent first draft that would need a complete rewrite and so be pointless.

Prosatizing a screenplay (that’s a new word I just invented. I could have used “adapting” but prosatize is way more sexy) still requires creative juices and enough mental capacity to write something worth reading and not just a stale transferring of words with the tenses changed. Novels are a very different beast to a no-nonsense script so it will be a serious challenge.

I don’t know if I’ll succeed but I’ll be bashing out words to the final second of that 24th hour and hopefully I will start my 38th year on this planet with a new novel under my belt.

12th May 2022 (my birthday). 9am to 9am the following day (which is Friday the 13th 😳). The Mask Collector will be reborn as a novel.

I’ll be sharing my progress on Twitter and Instagram. I am @AndyChapWriter on both.

2A1J episode 1 coming on Twosday…

Two Authors One Journal (2A1J) podcast is nearly here! Tune in on Twosday (haha) 25th June for episode 1.

Me and Rachel Howells have been recording the sounds of a typewriter and layering a guitar over it for our opening jingle and it sounds bloody brilliant.

On Twosday’s episode we’ll be talking about novellas and inviting you to write along with us as we start to come up with ideas for the two novellas we will be writing over the next 3 months.

Two authors, two novellas, three months to write them and three months to edit, create book covers, and build up to an Christmas release in paperback and Kindle.

We can’t wait to start writing our new novellas and bring you into our creative writing process.

Follow me to keep updated. If you want to be the first hear about new episodes you can send me a private message with your email address and we’ll be creating a mailing list where you’ll get a weekly message saying, “It’s here, check it out!”

You can follow Rachel on social media. She is @rachypetalface on Instagram and Twitter.

I am @AndyChapWriter on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

We’ll have a proper sign up page set up soon for the mailing list but for now you can message either of us on any of our social media accounts.

Author Interview – James Blakley

James Blakley AuthorQuestion 1: Who are you and what have you written (Most recent book, no synopsis).

I’m James, a fellow mystery writer who lives in The States, specifically Kansas. And my most recent novel is The Diamond Head Deception.

Question 2: If you had to paint a portrait of any author who would it be?

I’d probably do a self portrait. (lol) Not out of narcissism or solipsism, but because I was an assistant public librarian for over a decade, and as such had to constantly promote and protect hundreds of other authors’ writings. So, now it’s my turn to earn “15 minutes”, to borrow from Mr. Warhol.

Wuestion 3: Why did you start writing?

I started writing because that’s one of my talents. I began at about 7 years old, writing mostly action and adventure stories on notebook paper and illustrating them with colored pens or pencils. Then, I would staple the pages together and voila, I’d published a book! I wrote easily 100 such “paperbacks” into my early teens.

From 16 until my early 20’s, I wrote for and section edited my high school and college newspapers–and they were still paper back then, no online edition. I win local and national awards for journalism, but went into library work for nearly 12 years. I only picked up the pen again about 7 years ago and wrote a string of multicultural mystery novels.

Kwestion 4: Where do you write? Do you have a shed like Roald Dahl, or a special room away from the other people in your house. Maybe you write at work when you should be working like that Terry Pratchett did. You should be careful, if your boss catches you you’re done for. Personally I write in my pajamas.

I can write business reports on the job, not fiction. When fiction writing, I do it on off work and from an IPad, smartphone, laptop, or desktop. I even revert back to jotting down ideas on primitive paper with dead tree utensils called pencils. (lol)

Question 5: Today a dog untied my shoe laces.

That would’ve been a leading headline back in the day. Now, it would only lead if your dog laced them together so you would trip and fall and sue him in a court case that would get nationwide news coverage.

Question 6: Do you think question 5 needs to be rephrased?


Question 7: Forget the last two questions.

What questions? (lol)

Question 5 (again): What is the most interesting thing you have learned recently? (I just heard about an animal called the Tree Kangaroo that lives in trees regardless of it being utterly inept for that way of life and so often falls out of trees. And they are f**ing adorable).

Redux: I’m currently writing a sci-fi novel. And in the course of preliminary research, I’ve discovered a creature whose survival skills and hideousness makes Ridley Scott’s “Alien” look like Jones the Cat. It’s called a “water bear” (technically, a tardigrade). This creature is found in extremes of heat, cold, and even radiation. The Swedes launched 2 species of these critters into an ESA rocket and launched them into orbit. After 10 days of exposure to the hazards of space, 3 specimens of the M. Tardigradum “microorganauts” survived and even hatched healthy eggs! Perfect food for sci-fi thought, wouldn’t you say?

Question 6: Have you experienced what psychologists call “The ultimate experience” ? Which is the frame of mind when you are writing and everything is flowing perfectly and the creative buzz is so great you lose track of time.

That intoxicating sense of writer’s bliss has consumed me many times. When I’m in “the zone”, to borrow the sports phrase, I don’t want to be anybody else. And yes, I’ve written hours on end that have lasted from sunrise to sunset..on weekends usually. (lol)

Last question: Are you happy as a writer?

And that leads perfectly into your last The Diamond Head Deceptionquestion: My happiness as a writer. I’m a peachy-keen writer because I don’t do it professionally. I’m not under pressure to keep up with what’s trendy and create characters and plots that are mimicry or outright rip offs. I can create a brainy American Indian heroine and pair her with a jewelry CEO who’s a Hawaiian hunk and not worry about alienating the WASP buying demographic (who has an embarrassment of representation riches anyway). I can go against tropes like HEA (happily ever after) that a traditional publisher would likely demand be included out of “tradition”.

Fiction writing may not pay the bills, Andrew, but it still gives me thrills. And that’s what it’s really all about…until Tinsel Town makes me an offer for one of my books that I can’t refuse. (lol)


James Blakley’s, The Diamond Head Deception is available now on Amazon