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.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Marnie Rome book trailer

Very excited to see the new book trailer for Someone Else's Skin up online. If you double-click the play button below, it will play at full-screen size. The soundtrack is especially spooky/effective, I think. See if you agree.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

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

I'm finally able to share the news I've been keeping secret for the last few weeks. Someone Else's Skin, which is out in paperback in the UK today, is one of eight books picked for the R&J autumn book club. This means there are two versions of the paperback, one of which is exclusive to R&J and on sale only in WH Smith, with special extra material including a police interview with Marnie Rome, and a Q&A with me. You can read what Richard and Judy thought of the book, here. I was chuffed by Richard's summing up: "deftly takes apart human life at its darkest and most cruel. An excellent recipe for an excellent thriller." You can read the Q&A here. To read the police interview with Marnie, well, you'll have to pop into WH Smith and buy the book (please). I had a very exciting day in London on Tuesday, being interviewed on the sofa by Richard and Judy, for the podcast which will be available to listen to online soon.

As if this wasn't excitement enough, Someone Else's Skin is published in Sweden today, by Minotaur.  You can buy it here.

It really has been an amazing few months, and I'm still pinching myself, in gratitude and amazement. Huge thanks to everyone who reads this blog and who's cheered me on my journey thus far.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Sherlock, anime, anti-heroes, and Marnie Rome

I'm answering questions over at My Bookish Ways today. Look out for some of my darkest secrets, including how I made Sherlock bleed all over John Watson...
When I found out that Someone Else’s Skin would be published, I phoned up my friend Anna (to whom the book is dedicated) and we screamed like schoolgirls.
The picture is of the US audiobook version, read by Justine Eyre and available from Tantor.

US readers can buy the Penguin paperback here, or in good indie bookshops like Sunriver.