Saturday 26 July 2014

When a writer knows next to nothing about the book they just published

It might seem suspicious when a writer is confused over a book they've just published, when they appear to have little more than a vague idea of what it’s all about. But in fact it’s just timing.

There comes a point in the process of writing a book where the story moves beyond a skeleton idea and really begins to take shape. It starts to ‘feel right’. The characters come to life, the backdrop switches from black & white to colour, the drama builds. Flesh (appropriately for a crime novel) attaches to the bones.

But such are production schedules that something else happens at this magical moment. The previous book barges back into shot and demands attention. Minute attention. It demands edits, macro and micro; it demands checking of copy-edits; it demands that its author’s mind is drawn back to all of its twists, turns, characters and shenanigans.

The old story goes into battle against the new. Those characters from the current tale bursting to life on the page are suddenly dogged by ghosts from a previous book. Who is doing what? Which plot strand belongs where? Who was the target of that red-herring? Was that the despairing cry of the author falling into a morass of tangled plot lines and wishing that the old book would get out of her head?

But that old book is actually the new book in publication terms. These are its final birth pangs before it lands on the bookshop shelves. It’s just the author who has moved on, who is now living in the next fictional world. It’s brand new to the reader, but to the writer it’s just a vague memory.

Saturday 12 July 2014


Years ago I learnt a neat technique for writing a short sharp focussed pitch for a novel.

Once I started using this technique to pitch my work I never had a straight rejection. I was always asked for more. That wasn’t the end of obstructions in my route to publication because I taught myself to write a brilliant pitch before I learnt how to write a brilliant book, so hey-ho, I still got the rejections, but they came further along the way.

In later years once I’d cracked the book thing, I recorded this neat trick for creating a pitch along with several other neat tricks for writing the book and with a co-author recorded them in a book all of their own.

The book is for sale from the link below, but the neat pitch technique is reproduced HERE FOR FREE. If you like it, please spread the word, leave me some comments and go and buy the book.

Friday 11 July 2014

Stuart Aken Interviewed by Raani York

Just a brief announcement to let you know that Stuart Aken is interviewed on Raani York's blog today. Pay a visit and see what new information about his writing process, inspiration and motivation he's giving out. The link is here:

Saturday 5 July 2014

Marketing and other dirty words...

Today writers must be the whole package - creator, editor, publisher, marketer. The famously shy Agatha Christie once described her writing method as creeping away, writing something and then coming back like a dog who has just dug a hole in the garden and still has the dirt on its nose to prove it.

I can't imagine how she would have dealt with the whole self-promotion thing - probably died of sheer terror. She once allowed a pompous official to turn her away from a dinner where she was the guest of honour because she had arrived too early.

As a breed, writers are not good at blowing their own trumpets. But it's a skill we all have to learn and use, whether or not we wish to. Twitter, Facebook, signings all have their place. I've also discovered the promotional video, care of Animoto. It can be free or you can upgrade to get more gizmos.

Just to give you a taste, here is the link to my Animoto video about Court of Conspiracy.

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Court of Conspiracy by April Taylor is available here:

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