About Me

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 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.

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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Hard truths about writing and selling books #3. More about agents...

The blogosphere is littered with people shouting, 'I don't need an agent.' Well, up to a point, Lord Copper. Chances are that you do.

Having a good agent on your team takes a lot of the guesswork and learning by mistakes out of the process. Finding a good one with whom you just click isn't easy though. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I did have an agent (nope, still not telling you who it was, nor the name of the agency) but ended up asking to be released from my contract. I then got into  discussions with another agent who wanted to add space aliens and/or a supernatural element to a conspiracy thriller. Now I'm all for editorial input, but that was just plain loopy, so I walked away and signed up direct with Mauve Square Publishing.

It's worked out well for me, but without an agent and a big publisher's marketing budget behind you, you end up having to do a lot of the grunt work; marketing, financial, editing etc yourself. And if you have a full-time day job like wot I do, then it kinda cuts into what little time you have for writing.

So, don't give up on the submissions just yet - I know many agents are worth their weight in birdsh*t, but there are some good ones out there.

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