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Showing posts from March, 2015

Is it hard? Hell, yes.

So, what can you expect as an average debut author. Forgetting the lucky few who land and end on the best seller lists, what's the reality:

1. Work. It's after 10 and I'm writing this. I've just finished critting an 80k word book. I have another waiting for me. I've been on twitter, on facebook, sent emails, chatted to booksellers, talked to my publisher and bookstore about accounts. All this is unpaid, fitted around guests staying with us, kids, trying to remain sane. At the moment, it's demanding.

2. Doors heavy to open. I've been lucky. Amazing support. Bookstore support. Multiple outlets taking my book. Multiple events. But I've also had the zero responses to emails, downright rude responses to polite enquiries. You can't expect doors to magically open. There are loads of authors asking favours - you have to work to be one of them.

3. Astounding support. From quarters unexpected, in humbling amounts. The goodwill is tremendous. It makes puttin…

The Trouble with The Troubles.

I’m taking part in Absolute Write’s March blog tour and, in honour of the Day of Green, the blogs are about all things Irish. They’re really terrific and well worth a look at – the list of blogs are down below.

Anyway, I thought I’d do a little serious one, since I’m a dour, serious Northerner.* What I wanted to talk about is writing about Northern Ireland (NI) in my books.

A little history, perhaps, for those new to my witterings. I have a sexy Space Opera coming out this month, which makes blogging about Ulster seem, perhaps, a little odd. (My sexy space pilots all sound and look like Liam Neeson, though.**) But like many young writers (I’m not really that young, but it sounds good, yes?) I have a few other goodies I’m looking for homes for, and two of those happen to be set in NI.

Lots of books are set in NI (although not much sci fi). Anyone looking a good crime read could do a lot worse than looking at some of the Belfast Noir stuff coming out by the likes of Adrian McKinty. A…

To Con or Not to Con

My lovely writing friend Juliana Spink Mills is on the convention trail this year and did me a nice guest blog about it. Juliana writes fab YA and MG fantasy and is a bit of a flash fiction demon. She's just started her new blog here, about reading and wriitng and what not:

And, have at it, Juliana!

To Con Or Not To Con

So you’re a writer. You’ve written a couple of novels already. Or maybe you’ve been working on the one wonderfully rich doorstop epic since you were fifteen. Or you haven’t started yet, but it’s always been your dream and now the kids are finally in full-time education…

Whatever your case may be, if you’re a writer you will inevitably you get to that point where you say, “Well, now, self. This is all very nice, but what else should I be doing? Should I be learning more, and reaching out, and networking?” Because everyone says you need to network, and you hear it so many times that pretty soon you feel like a wannabe cable channel.

That’s wh…