About Me

My photo

 Welcome to my blog cum website thingy. It's about all things related to fiction writing, however tenuous the connection. Here's a brief biog:

After doing an economics degree at Southampton University, I spent sixteen years in the Royal Air Force actually getting paid to have fun by flying aeroplanes. Since then I've worked in wholesale financial services and am now based in the UAE. I also provide consultancy and software development services to a small group of global financial institutions and am lucky enough to be a regular speaker on the international conference circuit.

I've always had a passion for history, languages and archaeology. These elements came together to create Flora Kemble, Oxford University palaeographer and heroine of my first novel, The Seven Stars, a thriller that weaves a tale of deception and murder stretching from ancient Rome to the present day.

My second book, The Manhattan Deception, is now available on Kindle and in paperback.

My third book, The Minerva System is available on Kindle and in paperback.

Book number four, Death to Bankers, has just been released on Kindle and the paperback, from Mauve Square Publishing, will be out soon.

My latest book is a ghost story, set in the misty fens of Lincolnshire. It's called Bomber Boys and has a very big twist in the tale!

I'm a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and split my time between work in Abu Dhabi and a far more relaxing time with my wife, Wendy - who's also published by Mauve Square Publishing - with our two cats at home in south-west France.

Amazon author page

My blog

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Hard truths about writing and selling books #1

 One question that gets asked all the time is, 'How does a piece of crap like <enter the name of a book you don't like> get published whereas my, ahem, masterpiece just gets rejection slips?' Well, there are a number of reasons:

i) Definitions of what's crap and what's good are pretty subjective - on TV I can't stand soap operas, reality shows or football matches (that's soccer if you're reading this from the USA), yet these genres are among the most watched in the country. So just because I think something stinks, it doesn't mean I'm right. Numbers count, particularly when people are paying: remember, the classifications in the media are called Best Seller Lists, not Best Writer Lists. Moral of the story? There's no accounting for taste.

ii) Your book isn't as good as you think it is. Go back, re-read it, get someone else to proof read it, have it professionally edited. Just because your mum, girlfriend, wife, cat, budgie, significant other etc say it's good, doesn't mean it is.

iii) Getting an agent and then your agent finding you a publisher both involve a huge slice of luck. Talent helps, but even agents and publishers can't forecast reliably what's going to sell. The Harry Potter series, Fifty Shades, Twilight etc were books that took the industry completely by surprise. All dealt with themes that had been done before, but they all had that 'something' that made them best sellers. By the way, I know what it is, but I'm not telling...

iV) Finally, don't ever say, "How did this POS get published?" to your agent. I did once and my agent got very cross, so I had to pretend I didn't mean it. Since then I've fired my agent, but that's private stuff and not for this blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment