I never wanted to write short pieces of fiction, ever. From the moment I realised I was a writer, I also realised that I was going to write full length fiction. My first novels were over 100,000 words long. Too long, maybe. They were never presented to a publisher or an agent, since I had used them to get those writing muscles into shape, as it were. I had gone from not writing, to writing novels, and had done so without a coach and without taking a writing course. What I did was buy myself some fiction writer’s handbooks, some books that would help me get to my core and so find that authentic voice.
By the time I came to write The Cloths of Heaven I had done a lot of self-imposed research and had a drawer full of ‘trial run’ novels.At that stage I had also joined a writer’s critique group and took commentary, both positive and negative, to heart so that this novel would be the best I could write at that moment.