4,500

That's how many words of the new book I wrote today.

That's a lot, by any standards. Of course, a lot of them will end up being of no use. If you write 4,500 words in a day, maybe 1,000 will end up in the final book. Maybe fewer than that. Still, it's a good riposte to the disappointments of yesterday and indeed the whole of 2011 so far. I think, in times like these, all you can really do is put your head down and work.

The book is taking shape. It could be a shape that people don't like. But I will certainly have done my best.

It's less commercial than Eleven but I live in faith that uncommercial things can do well. Why else did all those people buy Captain Corelli's Mandolin, even though it takes place a long way away from here and there are some awfully long words in it? Admittedly, that was set in the war and it really helps to set things in the war if you want to capture the public imagination. But even so.

I'll reveal slightly more about the book as it develops. Suffice to say, I not only have an almost complete draft of it but an entirely different book as a plan B in case my publishers don't like this -- this is to cover my arse, because of the messy way things turned out with the previous publishers. And then there's the graphic novel, too, and if all else fails, I'll just publish my diaries. That seems to work for some people.

That was Book Preview with Mark Watson.