Thanet Writers Question Katerina Diamond
My name is Katerina Diamond, I am a crime thriller writer currently living in Ramsgate. My first novel, The Teacher, was a Sunday Times bestseller, a number 1 Kindle bestseller and one of Amazons top 10 selling ebooks of 2016. The Teacher was shortlisted for the John Creasey Dagger award from the CWA and also nominated for Hotel Chocolat’s ‘darkest moment’ award. The Secret, my second novel, was also a number 1 Kindle best seller. My third novel, The Angel, comes out in September 2017.
I started writing not long after my son was born. As a stay at home mother who hated daytime TV, I needed something to keep my mind ticking over. I love movies and so I decided to try and teach myself screenwriting and started to write a movie.
I am mostly influenced by things that have an impact on me, anything from cartoons to comic books, to newspapers. I try to look for stories that touch me in some way and then translate them into my own stories.
It doesn’t particularly feel like a choice to be honest. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it but it’s not something I can walk away from. Writing is a compulsion for me.
I have terrible writing habits. My discipline is no great either but I try to set myself small targets and achieve them rather than think of the daunting task of having to produce a hundred thousand words. I usually write up a chart of the things I want to include and then my word count for each section. Then I try to stick to that as much as possible. Some weeks I write a hundred words, some weeks I write twenty thousand. It’s most important to me that I don’t walk away from the project for too long. I also never start a new project while I am still working on something else.
Other books inspire me, whether they are great or terrible, I have a lot of respect for anyone who can finish a book, it’s hard!
The thing that used to hold me back was fear of success, also embarrassment, fear that other people would read my words and judge me. I had a word with myself and decided that I wanted to be a full time writer, and so I had to make it work – and that would involve making myself uncomfortable sometimes.
I never feel better than when I have finished the first draft of a book. That’s where the real hard work is. Lots of people start books. I’m pleased I managed to finish at least one!
Write the first draft without going back and correcting yourself until you’re done. My biggest mistake in the early days was trying to perfect every sentence and scene before moving on. Think of your first draft as a skeleton on which to build.
At the moment I am working on several things. My third book has just gone to print and I have just handed in the first draft of my fourth book. I am also in the process of trying to plot out a fifth book.
As a generally creative person I always have big ideas of what I want to do next. For now I will try and stick with continuing with my detective series. I would quite like to do a standalone psychological thriller. I also want to design a dystopian board game. No rest for the wicked!
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© 2017 Katerina Diamond
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Katerina is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling crime thriller ‘The Teacher’ and number 1 Kindle bestselling novel ‘The Secret’.