How to write a bestseller

20 February 2015

By Pan Macmillan

Number one Kindle author Kerry Wilkinson shares with us the four things you need to write a bestselling book. A clue, it involves lots of tea and biscuits.

Number one: hot water
No book in the history of time has ever been written without a plentiful supply of hot water. First, there's a morning coffee or five. After about ten in the morning, the need for tea kicks in. Twinings is a personal favourite but any tea will do. Proper tea, though. I'll give an honourable mention to hot chocolate, too.

Number two: biscuits
Of these two scenarios, which is the best?
a) Sitting on your own, cradling a laptop on your knee WITH a Fox's chocolate viennese on the side;
b) Sitting on your own cradling a laptop on your knee WITHOUT a Fox's chocolate viennese on the side.
There's only one answer to that question. In addition, although they're technically not a biscuit (don't get me started on that), Jaffa Cakes are an absolute must if you're even going to think about writing a novel.

Number three: rain
If it didn't rain, I'd get nothing done. As soon as the sun comes out, I'm lured out of the house like a dog to a lamppost. Luckily (or unluckily), living in the north of England means there are plenty of wet days where I can grumble about the weather while actually getting some work done.

Number four: a broken Internet connection
I've never had a day of work quite like the one when Virgin Media conked out. No Internet, no TV. At first I was horrified at the thought of not being able to constantly refresh the BBC Sport website but then I discovered that, miraculously, the world does continue to turn when the Internet's broken. I wrote an absolute shed-load that day. Then the Internet started to work again and I was back to BuzzFeed, looking at a list of Jason Statham's top 10 movie moments. Lock Stock is number one if you're wondering – as it should be.

What do you need to be able to write? Tell us on Twitter at @panmacmillan.