Questions from the Tour: Can You Write Faster?

by Jeff Abbott on August 9, 2008

This was an unexpected question on the tour–could I do more than one book a year? I appreciate that people would like for me to do more books, but one a year is doable. I don’t know about two a year; I’ve never tried because I’ve never had the time. There are authors who do manage this, either because they are faster writers or because they wrote one book a while back and end up publishing two in the same year. I don’t have unused drafts good enough for publication sitting around, though.
The question, while well-intended, needles me a bit because it feeds into my feeling I should always be writing, all the time–foregoing sleep and a personal life. And maybe I got asked this because I didn’t have a book come out in the US in 2007 (which I hated, but Collision took a bit longer to write than I anticipated.)
If I could write two a year, I suppose I might, just because I enjoy writing. I am curious what readers would think: would you automatically assume the quality had gone down if the quantity went up?

    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    Shawn, atlreader August 16, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    I don’t have the chance to check out my favorite authors’ websites until the weekend, so I’ve just now read this message. While I selfishly would love to have more than one book from you or T. Jefferson Parker or Harlan or any of my other favorite authors, I can easily see how churning books out quickly would impact their quality. I understand how producing books with the depth and intricacies of Collision or California Girl or Tell No One takes an enormous amount of time and thought. Probably even some sweat and tears. And that takes its toll, I’m sure on the creative well. So, to answer your question: yes, my fear would be that the quality would go down if the quantity went up.

    Jeff Abbott August 17, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Shawn–much sweat, no tears. I can think of several examples of people have had more than one book out a year (at least once) who are producing at a high level of quality: Rick Riordan (with his Tres Navarre mysteries and his Percy Jackson fantasy novels), Charlaine Harris (with her two paranormal/mystery series), and Elaine Viets, with her Dead End Job and Josie Marcus series, to name a few. I’m sure there are more. If you can put out two books a year, and they’re both good, then my worry is moot.

    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: