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'Not enough time to write a good book'

14 February 2005

'So many thrillers today are formulaic and one-dimensional. I feel like there used to be a higher standard. I know I'll get in trouble for saying this, but the problem is that the whole industry is built around writing one book a year, so the next hardcover comes out with the mass market paperback of your previous one. That's great from a marketing perspective, but from a writing perspective it's terrible, because people have to write their novel in six or seven months. It's not enough time to write a good book.

I've done it for the past five years, but if I'm completely honest, three of my first four books are the best I ever wrote because I spent two years apiece on them. Some of the stories I've come up with since then are just as good, but have I been able to do those stories justice? No, not completely.'

Greg Iles in the Bookseller