Archive for the ‘acceptance’ Category

THE WHISPERING DEATH Finds a Home

(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)

I am pleased to be able to announce that my new horror novel, THE WHISPERING DEATH, has sold to British small press horror publisher Kensington Gore. There’s an exciting announcement about it over on their website.

THE WHISPERING DEATH is about a group of live action role-players who unwittingly release an ancient evil loose upon the world during a game. I am particularly fond of this novel because it is effectively about a group of geeks, and I was able to incorporate all the geeky things I love into the novel. LRP. Dungeons & Dragons. Video games. Zombie films. And it’s got a kick-ass heroine who’s also a geek girl. I had such a good time writing about her.

And it’s a novel that at one point I lost faith in. It had gone through several rewrites when I first started subbing it, last year. After getting fairly consistent feedback along with the rejections I decided it needed rewriting. But the rewrite took it to a place where the ending I wanted wasn’t going to work and I got quite depressed about it.

But it just goes to show you should never give up. Have faith and keep collecting those rejections. Eventually, acceptance will come. And sometimes you have to believe in your own writing, even when it seems no one else does.

THE WHISPERING DEATH is scheduled for release later this year, which means I am expecting edits to come my way very soon. And this one will be out in paperback as well as electronic format. Yay!

A Home for Shara Summers

(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)

I’m very pleased to be able to announce that the second novel in my amateur sleuth series has found a home with MuseItUp Publishing.

The first book the series, DEATH SCENE, introduced my amateur sleuth – Canadian actress Shara Summers, summoned back to England because of a family crisis.  One of the things I wanted to explore in the series was the concept of cultural alienation.  Shara makes observations throughout about things that are different in England, compared to her home in Toronto.

It proved a tough sell.  One of the most common reason for rejection for both books was the fact that my contemporary amateur sleuth was not based in America.  I got told many times over that such things do not sell in America, and therefore there was no market for the book.  Americans like books set in America, apparently, or historical English mysteries featuring people like Miss Marple or Sherlock Holmes.

When Lyrical Press took the first book I started writing the second.  Officially titled DEAD COOL, my working title for it was “The Case of the Defenestrated Rock Star”.  Mostly because “defenestrated” is such a great word, and how often do you get the opportunity to use it in a sentence?

However, by the time LPI released DEATH SCENE, they’d stopped taking mysteries and were focusing on romance and erotica, so I knew there was no market with them for the sequel.  And so Shara Summers was adrift, without a publisher.

Not to mention that by the time I finished the third draft of the second book, I’d developed some serious insecurities about it.  You know how it goes.  It’s rubbish.  It’s full of plot holes that can’t be fixed.  Why am I deluding myself that I’m trying to be writer?  I crawled into a hole with the book and didn’t want to come out again.

Then on holiday in France a couple of years ago, I met a retired London Metropolitan Police copper who used to be on the Murder Squad, and I asked him if he would read my crime book, to pick up any glaring procedural errors.  He agreed.  When he came back to me, he told me he’d really enjoyed it.  It was a good holiday read, he said.  And he hadn’t picked up any major problems with my procedurals.

Which is exactly what I need to hear, and it gave me the confidence to finish the book.  Said retired copper will be getting a mention in the credits, but I owe him a lot more than that.

Now I am delighted that my Canadian amateur sleuth has come home to Canadian publishers.  No release date has yet been set, but it is likely to be the latter half of 2014.

I am very much looking forward to working with my new publishers, on Shara’s continuing journey.  I hope you will come along with me for the ride.

Exciting News About The Next Book

I’m very pleased to be able to say I’ve just signed a contract with Lyrical for the next book. This is to be a crime novel – in fact THE crime novel, the one I’ve been shopping around for the last couple of years.

The book is called DEATH SCENE, and it’s the first in a planned series featuring my amateur sleuth, Canadian actress Shara Summers. As with the last novel, Lyrical will be publishing it as an e-book, hopefully in the next 12 months or so but I will keep you updated – watch this space…

Yippee!!!!

E-Publishing Part 2: The Way of My Future?

I’ve had to sit on this news for a while until it was official, but now it is I can declare it (and you don’t know how hard it’s been not to tell anyone!).

The e-publisher I sent the horror novel, SUFFER THE CHILDREN to early in August came back to me to say they really liked it and offered a contract. However, the proviso was I had to make major revisions because at present it’s a young adult novel and they only publish adult novels.

The protagonist of the novel is a 14-year-old girl. In spite of this, I never saw it as a young adult novel. It’s a horror novel in which the main character happens to be a teenager. It has been suggested before (many times, if the truth be known) that if I want it published, one of two things has to happen to it. One, it’s marketed as a YA book. Two, it’s rewritten to make the characters older.

My argument has always been that there are plenty of books out there with teenage protagonists. Many of Stephen King’s books (and he has always inspired my horror writing) have teenage protagonists. However, it seems the world has changed. When Stephen King started writing, in the 1970s, ‘young adult’ was not a category – you had adult books and you had children’s books. But I am not Stephen King, and it seems that nowadays an unknown writer is not in a position to dictate what market her books should go to – she has to conform to existing prerequisites.

I have been thinking long and hard about this since I got the offer from Lyrical Press. Ultimately I had two choices. Accept the offer and rewrite the book with the characters all 18 or over, or turn it down and continue to market the book, but as a YA novel.

I don’t really want to be a YA writer – I have no further ideas for YA books and can’t follow this one with any more, for starters. And although I was once a teenager myself, that was a long time ago and the world is a very different place now. I don’t pretend I can understand today’s teenagers, and am not sure if I really want to put myself in their world. It’s more a case of, yes, been there, done that, grown out of it, glad it’s over, thank you very much.

Which means that I have to accept that this novel needs to be reborn in a new incarnation – adult horror. There are a few major logic points I will have to change to make the plot work with an 18-year-old instead of a 14-year-old, but I have been thinking about this and I have some ideas.

So, I am happy to be able to say I have signed the contract, and am doing the rewrites, and my book will be available as a e-book from Lyrical Press in the next 18 months or so – hopefully. Exciting news indeed!

So it would seem that the future for SUFFER THE CHILDREN is as an e-book. I am happy to accept this. The only disappointing thing is that with e-books there are no signing sessions, so the frequent fantasy I entertain of fans lining up to get my autograph on the title page of my novel will have to remain a fantasy for just a bit longer.