Pitch perfection: finding the spark to hook an agent or publisher

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com Pitching a passion project should be easy, shouldn't it? After all, you've dedicated years of your life to writing a book, to polishing your precious words until they gleam. Surely everyone will appreciate your efforts and clamour to read your story, won't they? Unfortunately, the answer is often 'no', … Continue reading Pitch perfection: finding the spark to hook an agent or publisher

Self-confidence is a decision

Photo by Jeffrey Czum on Pexels.co When you set your sights on traditional publication, at every stage of the process your success relies on convincing others of your worth: agents, publishers, reviewers, readers. You are constantly seeking external validation. And most of the time, when hundreds apply for every opportunity, that validation is not forthcoming. … Continue reading Self-confidence is a decision

Should you use American English for submissions to US agents and publishers?

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels. Over the years, I've submitted many short stories to international literary journals. Most of the work I've had published overseas, though, has been in the UK and Ireland. As I contemplate approaching overseas agents for representation of my psychological suspense novel, I've been wondering about expectations for manuscripts submitted … Continue reading Should you use American English for submissions to US agents and publishers?

How to write a new novel when you can’t remember where to begin

My writing desk. New year, new notebook. For the last two years or so, I've been writing, rewriting, editing and polishing my latest manuscript. My baby is finally ready to pitch—exciting times—and I've tentatively started to send it out. Now that the manuscript is out of my hands, though, I need to decide on the … Continue reading How to write a new novel when you can’t remember where to begin

Edit with your ears: the value of hearing your words

Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com I've spent most of the year editing my psychological suspense novel. Initially, this involved improving big-picture aspects of the story—pacing, character development, themes, tense—we're talking a big structural edit. For the last couple of months, though, I've been sweating the small stuff: the line edit and proofreading prior to … Continue reading Edit with your ears: the value of hearing your words