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Showing posts from December, 2015

Whew..... What a year.

It's my birthday! And one of the most common responses I've had is that I've had an incredible year. Which put me in mind of trying to capture it. And it's Friday and blog day and....

Where was I at the turn of 2015? Well, I had an agent and a book out on submission. I had a three book deal with my first book coming out in March. I had my first publisher edit ahead - although, to be fair, I had been edited by Teresa Edgerton before and knew she at least liked the book. Things were looking exciting and, at the same time, daunting.

Why daunting? Well... Writers, by our nature, can be nervy. Last January only a handful of people had read either Abendau's Heir or Inish Carraig - mostly close writing friends whose role is to be critical. I had no idea how either would be received - particularly Abendau with its dark, dark themes. Since Kare had been the character I'd started writing to capture and his world had been building since secondary school, when I needed a p…

To agent or not to agent...

That, these days, is a question all writers must ask. I want to make it very clear, right now, I am not dismissing agents in any way. I have a great deal of respect for any I've had dealings with, and I fully intend to seek an agent again. But, in the current model of publishing, I think there are questions to be asked about when to seek one, and what you can do on your own.

When I first started writing five years ago, there were mutterings about this self-publishing lark and how writers didn't need to follow a standard path anymore. However, there was still an acceptance that if you did want to follow the traditional path, getting an agent was the thing to do. Now, I wonder if that's still the case, and here's why:

1. Timey-wimey considerations.

Agents are slow. Publishing is slow. We all know that.

But, actually - only traditional publishing is slow. Small publishers are much more flexible to the market. They can turn books around if they need to, and they can do it…

Writing rules.

This might be a rant. I haven’t had one for a while, so that’s no bad thing. Anyhow, this blog is about what we’re told we can and can’t do as writers and why, actually, it might not be good advice.
Writing is a funny old conundrum. It’s a business, at one end of the spectrum, and a creative endeavour at the other, and sometimes the two struggle to meet.
When I first started to write, I didn’t give much thought to the market for my story. I assumed it was the sort of thing I would like to read, so there must be one. It was later that I discovered there were all sorts of rules and strictures about the book you write.
I took them all terribly seriously at first. I tried to meet them all. I turned myself in knots forcing my story into the convenient boxes the marketing side of writing wanted, and out of the story-driven ways my creative side demanded. It was exhausting and tiring and – wait for it – got me nowhere. At all.
Here, along the way, was the sort of adv…