After Mother and Son, I began to think more seriously about trying to get something published. I thought the first thing to do was to think of a good story idea, that would be commercial and hopefully get agents interested. So I wracked my brains, and got a few ideas down on paper. And from that, pick one out that I thought was interesting. Then it came to me one day - what would it be like if someone had the ability to read people's mind, so long as they were within a certain distance. It seemed to me to have huge potential, and so The Naked Mind was born. How would a person with this ability be, and how would he use his power, for good or evil? Well the result was a mixture of the two, and by the time I'd finished, I was quite pleased with myself, and very eager to send out the first three chapters out to a whole host of agents. I was expecting to be taken on no problem. Little did I know. I must have sent out about twenty five or thirty. Nearly all came back as rejections without any explanations. Maybe one or two were a little more positive but not enough to take me on. All well back to the drawing board.
I couldn't work out what I'd done wrong, but then hit on the idea of getting the whole book critiqued. Having searched the Internet, I hit upon one, perhaps the cheapest at £750 for the whole book of 140,000 words. Some weeks later a five page critique came back. Here I learnt a few home truths, about what I was doing wrong. Point of view was allover the place, the novel was too wordy, characters stereo-typed, clique ridden, story unbelievable and so on. Oh well, at least he was honest. But a would-be author's ego is very fragile, and I almost gave up. But something told me to carry on. Listen to what was being said, take it on the chin, and try to improve. So that's what I did.