My latest novel, TICK to the TOCK is an emotional rollercoaster of a story. To give you an idea about the potential tears you may shed, this is what a few people have said:
“The final scenes between these two was somewhat heart-wrenching. I definitely felt my chest clench a little.”
“You had me in tears this whole damn book!! At the end I was sobbing.”
“While reading this story I laughed and cried.”
It’s not that I set out to write a tearjerker, but I knew this story would pluck the heartstrings of some. It certainly piqued my own, and I welled up on many occasions over the months of drafts and edits. No, I didn’t set out to make everyone cry, but I did aim to craft a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs.
Because this is life. And I think sad times help you appreciate the happy times. And I think happy times make the sad times bearable, and possibly even worthwhile.
I APPRECIATE MY OWN MORTALITY MORE THESE DAYS
When I explain to people what TICK to the TOCK is about, they usually offer me an odd look. “Why would you write about something so grim,” they say. “Do you like feeling depressed?”
I don’t like feeling sad, but I do appreciate it. Like I say, I don’t think it’s possible to truly appreciate the good times unless you’re aware of the bad. And writing this book wasn’t a simple telling of a tale. It was a gut wrenching journey into my own mind and worries, which I assure you left me appreciative of much in my life.
I came up with the premise long before I became a father, but I started writing this book whilst my son was a few weeks old. Mortality is different now. I appreciate my own mortality more these days. Practically over night, my outlook on life changed, and I presume if you’re a parent you’ll understand. If you’re not, you may not.
THIS ISN’T A BOOK ABOUT DEATH. IT’S ABOUT LIFE
Thankfully, a lot of people have shared their thoughts about TICK to the TOCK, and how it helped them consider their own life. For this isn’t a book about death. It’s about life.
That may sound a tad strange, as this is a novel about a dying twenty-two-year-old, but it’s true. Throughout this entire journey (the research, drafts, editing, marketing) I’ve considered everything I’ve done over the years, those I’ve not, and what I can still achieve in the near and distant future.
It’s not healthy dwelling on this all of the time, but I think EVERYONE can benefit from it a little.
You see, I fear a great deal:
- I work for myself
- Money is usually tight
- I have a million ideas
- But only so much time
- And I have no idea what will and won’t work
- If anything at all
- And I write novels for crying out loud
- But how the hell do I know if I’m any good?
Above all this, I have a wonderful little boy who makes my life what it is. I want to do him proud and ensure he has everything he needs. These worries reap havoc on my life and sleeping patterns and those daily decisions we all face. However, writing TICK to the TOCK placed my entire being into perspective,
WORRIES ARE A LOT LIKE POLITICIANS
Like I say, dwelling on death isn’t something I suggest you do often, but considering it, and your journey, and what you’re doing, and where you are, and what could be… certainly helps kick your worries to the stupid little curb. Because yes, money is important, but not nearly as important as we allow it to be.
And worrying about whether everything will end up in a nice neat package defeats the purpose of the journey. After all, you know you’re going to die, but do you really want to know how and when?
Worries are a lot like politicians: unfortunately, they’ll always be there. But they don’t define who I am, and they don’t define who you are, either. And I’m n0t saying I’m free from worry because I wrote a book, because that would be a lie. However, I try to consider all of the good things in my life, and all the things I still have to enjoy.
Writing a book about dying, and crying a great deal, and wondering what it would feel like and what I would do… All of this made me appreciate ME, my circumstances, and what I do every single day.
THE STORY OF YOU GUIDES YOU THROUGH
You may not want to write a book about death or dying, and you may not want to focus a large chunk of your life doing so (like I did). However, I urge you to consider such grim thoughts from time-to-time, and ask yourself:
- What would I do if I had a tight deadline?
- What have I done with my life so far? And am I satisfied with this answer?
- What do I want to do… and achieve… and be part of?
- And how can I take a single step to make that happen today?
- And those worries… are they really worth worrying about?
I get it, this isn’t a magic fix, but what I hope people take from TICK to the TOCK is an element of perspective, because there’s more to life than what lives on the surface. We let silly things devour our time, and important aspects dwindle away. We worry about nothing at all, and allow dreams to fade away. Isn’t this insane?
The story of you guides you through, this I honestly believe. By considering your past and what you’re doing and who you are and why you do it… That all important perspective clicks into place. On the surface, TICK to the TOCK is a rather grim novel, but it brought me a lot of happiness, and although I still worry and have sleepless nights, I believe more in what I do now than ever before.
- Because I do believe in my writing
- I do believe in my ideas
- And I do believe I’ll make my son proud
Sometimes you just have to think about your end of days for it all to make sense.