Wednesday 17 September 2014

Someone Else's Skin gets its first video review

This made my morning. Thank you, Lorna Mackinnon.

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.