Friday, 31 October 2014

No Other Darkness, exclusive extract for Richard and Judy Book Club

Someone Else's Skin is the Book of the Week over at the Richard and Judy Book Club, where they have just put this exclusive extract live online. The first two chapters of No Other Darkness, the second Marnie Rome book. If you're really cunning, you can put these two chapters together with the third chapter, which is part of the extra material at the back of the paperback of Someone Else's Skin which has the Good Housekeeping Reader's Choice tick on the cover.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

My Fictional Heroines (for the Richard & Judy Book Club)

Featuring Violette Retancourt, Connie James, Clarice Starling, Flea Marley and more. These are my top girl crushes of all time.
Marnie Rome walked fully formed into a story I was writing two years ago. She was undercover, in biker boots and a black wig, but she was unquestionably Marnie. I recognised her at once. Later, I came to realise how many secrets she was hiding. And I came to realise that she owed a debt, in part at least, to my fictional heroines from page and TV. Not everyone on this list shares a character trait with Marnie Rome, but they are all women who’ve stayed in my head (and my heart) long after I’ve stopped reading and watching.

Someone Else's Skin is the Featured Book in the Richard & Judy Book Club

For one week only! With exclusive material, a podcast and more! Excuse me while I go all starry-eyed and chuck confetti at passers-by.

In all seriousness, to everyone who ever told me to never give up, or nudged me to sub a story or asked me what I was writing (or bought me a coffee or gave me a hug or told me to stick at it) - Thank You. To everyone who read and reviewed the proof copies of Someone Else's Skin, and tweeted and blogged - Thank You. And if you bought a book, or recommended it to a friend, or put a nice review online - Thank You. You're the reason I got this far.

Someone Else's Skin

If you haven't already bought it, this is the perfect week to do so as there are special offers galore, especially at WH Smith where it's less than £4 a pop. I won't go as far as the lovely people at the Heswall Bookshop who instructed all their customers to give it as a Christmas present to everyone they know, but hey. For one week only, go wild.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Richard & Judy Book Club: my Podcast for Someone Else's Skin

Here it is! What a relief to find I didn't waffle half as much as I'd feared. Even if I did confess a bit too cheerfully to having a dark mind... Lovely Richard and Judy were so enthusiastic and supportive. I loved every minute of this.
Sarah Hilary - Someone Else's Skin - Richard & Judy Book Club Podcast

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Monday, 8 September 2014

Mslexia, and other milestones

For many years, I kept a copy of Mslexia magazine that had a feature on How to Write Crime Fiction. Like most of the content of this marvellous magazine, it was helpful, insightful and inspirational. Now I've had an article of my own published in Mslexia (issue 63, Sept/Oct/Nov 2014). Dubbed 'Stalking an Agent' by the editor, it's a piece on how we should trust less to luck and more to hard work and determination. Judging from the response over on Twitter, it seems to have struck a chord with many, many writers. I'm glad. I hoped, when I was writing it, to debunk some of the myths about writing and about getting published. Myths which I know held me back, and which I suspect hold others back from their goals. Here's a snippet:
Some time ago, I set my sights on the UK’s greatest crime agent, Jane Gregory. In a piece written for Mslexia, Jane describes very sensibly how tough it is to get published; new authors can spend an average of two years working on a manuscript before it’s ready to be sent out to editors. That’s two years after Jane has decided the manuscript has potential. At this point you might be wondering if I’m a masochist or merely an egotist. What made me think I could beat odds of 5,000 to two (5,000 being the manuscripts submitted to Jane’s agency in an average year, and two being the number of new authors she signs in the same period)? Well, it helped that Jane encouraged me: responding to each of my (many) submissions with a page or more of reasons why I wasn’t ready to be published, suggesting ways I could improve if I was willing to put in the time. There’s another word for these letters: rejections. Like luck, rejection has a mythology all its own. We invite it, but we fear it. Sometimes we fear it so much we daren’t send our manuscripts out into the big bad world. But let’s debunk this myth, while we’re at. Because we can, and we should. Rejection is good for your soul. Without it, how will you ever know how good your writing can get? Or whether you have the staying power for this undoubtedly tough business? You won’t. You won’t know where the bar is set, or how to go about reaching it.
You can read the whole article by subscribing to Mslexia. I was surprised that the cost starts from less than £20 for the year.

In other news, Someone Else's Skin just received its 100th review over on Amazon. A 5-star, fantastic review, by Claire Hill. You can read it here.