Monday’s Friend: Leigh Russell

I am delighted to be able to welcome best-selling crime writer Leigh Russell to my blog as this week’s Monday’s Friend.

What A Difference A Keyboard Makes
By Leigh Russell

There has been a lot of discussion about the difference technology has made to readers, with people getting excited about the virtues or drawbacks of ebooks versus print books.  I don’t have a Kindle myself, although my own books are currently selling faster as ebooks than in print, and my detective, Geraldine Steel, has been number 1 bestselling female detective on Kindle for the past two months.

So what about the difference technology has made to writers?  The first draft of my debut novel was completed in six weeks, written longhand and typed up each day.  Speed isn’t necessarily a good thing, but my debut attracted a publisher two weeks after submission, and went on to be shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger for Best First Novel.  Working on a new idea, I’ve recently typed the first draft of a new novel in just three weeks, by cutting out the handwriting part of the process.

With his phenomenal output, how many novels might Dickens have produced on a keyboard?  How long would Proust’s masterpiece have been?  And what a body of work Shakespeare might have left!

There is another benefit to technology.  To begin with I could only edit and revise my writing on hard copy, which involved a lot of printing.  There are still quite a few obsolete drafts stacked up under my desk, probably a tree’s worth of paper.  These days I edit and correct on screen, which is fine as long as I can hold the book in my head.  My memory isn’t great, so on balance it’s probably just as well I write so fast!

What difference has technology has made to you, as reader or writer?

Leigh Russell writes the bestselling Geraldine Steel series of crime thrillers.


You can find details of Leigh’s books on http://leighrussell.co.uk
Cut Short (2009)
Road Closed (2010)
Dead End (2011)

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1 comment so far

  1. April on

    I love writing on a fresh sheet of paper. There’s something magical about it. I can’t explain it. However, I can’t imagine not typing my WIPs. So…though it’s not a change for me because I’ve grown up with the technology, I’m very thankful for the keyboard!


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