Someone recently asked me on Twitter how I manage to write something like "Flying Saucer Fever". I'd be lying if I said it was easy, although the actual process of "writing" isn't too difficult for me - the motivation is there, I'm used to the mechanics of it and don't let books go to publishing before I'm completely happy with the finished article. I've always been able to sit down and write - but punctuate the process with frequent walks and cups of coffee. There's link to my "Buy Me A Coffee" site at the top of this page, funnily enough ;) Seriously, though - there's nothing like having a break every so often and getting some fresh country air to stimulate the thought processes - and mull over what I've just researched, looked into or wrote down.
Coming up with a plausible and readable narrative is the hard part - and ensuring that this "something" has not been done already to within an inch of its life. Well, that's one of the hard parts. The other is the research. That takes time, and has the capacity to suck the motivation out of those who aren't actually as motivated as they think they are. For instance, a lot of the National Archives' stuff is available on-line - but plenty of the good stuff isn't, which involves paying a lot of money to get their staff to look through the content, copy it and send it - and that's assuming they find it to start with. If they don't, that's £8.40 down the swannee. Another option is to spend the money on the train fare to London, get some cheapish accommodation and turn up to the Archives in person with my Readers Ticket. That's actually a really good experience, although don't expect to be able to type "UFO" into some sort of search engine and find the motherlode. It's not that easy. Info is hidden away in all sorts of files, with names that often conjure up something completely different. It's often best to do your homework before visiting, and in any case, when you book a research/reading slot you have to specify files because it takes the staff time to locate them in advance. You can't just turn up and say "can I have a look at your UFO files please?" ;)
Thankfully, there's always light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm also conscious of the fact that readers of my previous works have expressed interest in seeing more content. That's a motivator to write more books in itself. I'd also be lying if I said it wasn't about the money - it's my full-time job, after all - but the amounts involved are much less than if I'd remained in the National Health Service, although writing and talking on podcasts is certainly a lot less stressful! So thanks to all you wonderful folks who purchase my books and spread the word, I sell enough copies to pay the bills. I'll extend those thanks to all of you who listen to my ramblings on various podcast appearances, and as a co-host on Unidentified Aerial Podcast. We don't get paid through Superchat questions or stuff like that, but do it because we're wanting that information to get out to folks who may not be as aware of the rich history of UFO encounters. To me, doing this is a logical extension of the types of UFO books I write.
If you've bought a copy of Flying Saucer Fever or UFOs Before Roswell, that's great - let me know what you think of them. Better still, tell people on Twitter and leave an Amazon review ;) Seriously, though - thank you. I appreciate you doing that. Right - I'd better get back to this next one I'm putting together. They don't write by themselves...
(That's not my cat, BTW - in case anyone's curious.)