Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snowed in: Part 2 "Global Warming"

Once again there's several inches of snow outside and I'm sitting INSIDE working on my line-edits. Anybody watching the news might have noticed a sudden dearth of so called 'experts' waffling on about global warming, or 'climate-change' as it's now known. They tend to go extremely quiet when things go against the predictions they've been harping on about for the last 25 years, and they remain even quieter when the various climate-change myths they've been shouting from the melting mountain-tops get exposed.

For those of you who've been taken in by the great circus that is climate-change, here's a few carefully researched pointers for you that I've accumulated over the past four or five years that show what a mess the IPCC has made of scientific endeavour and public faith in our best and brightest.

1) The mean temperature of our globe has been cooling since 2000, not warming.

2) Carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere has continued, however, to rise, destroying the entire edifice of climate warming as being caused by atmospheric CO2.

3) Antarctica is getting colder, and despite losing sea-ice at it's edges is gaining ice in its centre, causing a net-gain in ice.

4) There have never been more polar-bears in the Arctic than there are now, and they're not dying out. Only two isolated populations are declining, the rest are on the rise.

5) Sea levels in the Maldives are dropping not rising, and have been for some years.

6) The Medieval Warm Period exceeded current global mean temperatures long before industry or fossil fuels. It was followed by a global chill that lasted almost 200 years.

7) Increases in atmospheric CO2 do not CAUSE increases in temperature, they FOLLOW increases in temperature. Fluctuations in solar radiance far better fit global mean temperature changes than CO2 levels.

8) Every single major claim made in Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth have been proven false by climate scientists. Chief of these is the so-called 'Hockey-Stick' graph, showing dramatic changes in global temperatures since the industrial age. Take this graph, extend it back 2,000 years instead of 200, and our current temperature is exceeded many times in natural fluctuations. Extend it back further, and it becomes an invisible blip of no significance. Nor is the speed of temperature change either unusual or unique. The graph as advertised is a deliberate falsehood promoted by the International Panel on Climate Change.

9) "If the Arctic melts, sea levels will rise!!" No, they won't. Take a glass of water, put an ice cube in it, and mark the level of the water. Wait for the ice to melt, and see what happens to the water level. It will fall. Water expands when it freezes, and the Arctic is a giant ice cube floating in the ocean, with most of its mass below the surface. Sea levels will fall if it melts: only if the Antarctic starts melting will we be in trouble, and it's not ( see above ).

10) In the past, there have been severe freezes and thaws throughout climate history, many of which were far more extreme than that being experienced now. The greatest danger on Earth is not global temperature through human activity, but global poisoning through human activity. Amphibians are called 'sentinel species' for a reason, they're sensitive to change. Pictures of three legged frogs, the deformity put down to climate change, are absolute rubbish. Temperature change won't easily cause such genetic mutations: but throw some heavy metals into the water table and it all makes more sense, and we do that all the time. Everyone's barking up the wrong tree, and that's what happens when science becomes politicised for profit, which is what's happened with climate-change.

11) Wind turbines are sold on their maximum theoretical output, not their actual output, increasing profits. Denmark, which has the world's greatest investment in wind turbines, has banned all further building of them having finally realised that they're useless. They either produce too much or not enough power, forcing the country to either sell power cheap or buy power in expensively from elsewhere depending on their turbine output.

12) Never believe anything you read without first checking it. If you think the above is incorrect, search for scientific studies and papers that are INDEPENDENTLY written and peer-reviewed (ie, not the product of either the IPCC or anti-global-warming interests ). Then you'll get confirmation.

I predict that within 15 years, people will wonder how the hell the IPCC got away with the deliberate mis-use of science for profit via carbon trading.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Snowed in!

Like most of the country I awoke this morning to find myself surrounded by about a foot of the white stuff. Once upon a time this would have meant no work and much rejoicing, but as I now work from home.....

I completed the general edit of Covenant a couple of weeks ago, and since them my editor at Simon & Schuster, Maxine Hitchcock, has been hard at work on the 'line-edit'. This second round of editorials is a fine tuning of the manuscript, the final polishing where Maxine makes suggestions on the macro scale. Would character 'X' really say something like that? Would they actually do something like that? Does this line need to be in the narrative or can it be cut out? Is there a spot too much exposition here, too little there? And so on. This final run-through irons out any remaining questions that might 'jolt' a reader as they travel through the story, ensuring that everything within the narrative runs smoothly.

I imagine that it will take me at least a couple of weeks to run through this edit, returning the manuscript to Maxine before Christmas. In the New Year, the MS will then be sent to the copy-editor, who has purposefully not yet read the novel. It will be their job to identify technical errors, should there be any, things like time distortions, character's appearances changing and so on.

Meanwhile, in the background book two is taking shape, with opening chapters already in place. Despite the snow outside, I'm enjoying the work too much to go out and play!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


The contracts for my book deal dropped through the letterbox yesterday morning. I remained completely grown-up about this epic moment, and didn't tear the envelope open and read avidly for half an hour before signing and posting back to LBA immediately. First Class. Recorded.

It's probably the first time since the auction that everything's actually felt 'real'. After so many years of working toward this very goal, now that it's actually happened things have sometimes felt a bit dream-like, as though I've been mistaken for someone else. This always happens to the 'other guy', in the newspaper or on television, not me. What's best about it though is that the contract detailed not just all the stuff that all new authors want to read about, like how much of the advance will be forthcoming, what the royalties are etc, but gave a defined timeline of delivery dates and publication dates and so on. For the first time since September, I now have a realistic mental idea of how much work I have to do, where I should do it, and how to go about planning my next two years.

The deal I signed was for three books: "Covenant", "Elixir" and "Event-Horizon" ( the last two being working titles ). The reason I feel really happy about it all is that I'm now technically employed again, this time as a 'professional' author ( ish ) and have a bright future ahead that will hopefully involve more contracts just like this one.

It's a huge relief, and comforting to know that I can do the work within the contractual deadlines. No more distractions, no more squeezing in an hour after work or not going out with mates because I feel bad about not quite having finished that final chapter yet. Now it's full steam ahead, full-time, and I can't wait to get started.

For all those aspiring writers reading these posts, who think it always happens to 'the other guy', keep hacking away at it. It took me 15 years to get from where I started to my first deal. Those who make it through aren't necessarily the best - they're the ones who didn't quit.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

COVENANT takes shape.

It's a bit weird to see your own name appearing on search engines - someone told me the other day that they'd read about my novel being taken to Frankfurt for the International Book Fair. A moment later, and lo-and-behold, there I am!

On a less vain note, I had lunch on Monday with my wonderful editor, Maxine Hitchcock, The Editorial Director of Fiction at Simon & Schuster. Maxine told me a great deal about how things go from here, and introduced me to the hugely friendly team at their offices in London. It turns out that I'll be able to see some cover artwork sometime between now and Christmas, which is hugely exciting! There's much work being done behind the scenes already, and I'm really happy to have been signed to such an enthusiastic and friendly publisher. They're supported by other equally brilliant teams in the United States ( Touchstone ) and Australia.

For my part, the first editorial notes are in, and fortunately Maxine and I are very much on the same wavelength - we've agreed next steps and I'm on the case already. Once this first editorial is complete, there will follow a line-by-line edit, which will fine-tune everything before the manuscript is sent to the copy-editor for the next stage of improvement.

It's back down to work for me once more, but I'm revelling in the writing now and really excited about how things are turning out. Will post again soon, as contracts are now with my agent, Luigi Bonomi, and likely to be signed within a few days.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I haven't posted much recently as so much has been going on, and I've also been a bit cautious about how much I should write due to possible contractual reasons. I'm hoping that within a few weeks I should be able to write in more detail what's been going on, but for now my main news is that I have my first true dead-lines, with books two and three now having their delivery dates set to Simon & Schuster.

After a few weeks in limbo, it's good to finally have goals to aim for, both of which are well within my reach. Really looking forward to getting stuck into the first draft once I've completed my research. I also have a date for publication of the first novel, but will share that here once the contracts are all signed and everything's in stone.

Most of what's been going on behind the scenes hasn't involved much writing, but instead to the innumerable and unforseen tasks required of me to set myself up as a full time writer. It's been a bit of a caper but when I think about it, it's only been just over a month since the manuscript went out to publishers for auction. While I'm here, I can reveal that that was the same day I was made redundant from my job of eleven years, and just two days before my partner had her twelve-week scan. As you can imagine, it was something of a 'taut' couple of weeks, but everything went fabulously well and now all's good, with Junior healthy and on the way.

Published novelist to be, dad to be... and have to be somewhere else, lunch with Luigi!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mission Accomplished.

Well, finally it's happened! On Monday, after several days of bidding, Luigi finalised the sale of my debut novel as part of a three-book deal with publishers Simon & Schuster. The debut is to be published both in the UK and the USA sometime around next October. I can't write too much about the deal here, suffice to say that I'll be writing full-time and couldn't be happier with the outcome! Much to do, many things that I hadn't forseen in order to set myself up as effectively self-employed, but all's good!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Things are starting to happen!

I've recently heard from my agent, Luigi Bonomi, who I’m delighted to report loves the redraft of my novel “Covenant”. He’s asked for a few more subtle changes to individual passages, but basically that’s it, and I'm to send him the finished manuscript by the end of this week.

The really great news is that he’s intending to submit to publishers next week, with the aim of selling the book at the Frankfurt International Book Fair on October 5th. I’m not sure how he goes about this, but I’d assume it will involve some kind of title auction – provided there are publishers interested in the book of course!

It’s all very exciting, and I feel as though I’m on the cusp of something great: my first novel finally signed to a publisher. Fingers crossed, and I'll add extra updates here as soon as I hear anything…

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Re-draft complete.

Well, it's done.

After nine weeks of hard-graft, slaving over a hot laptop and grinding endless plot complications through my weary brain, Luigi's recommendations and my own improvements have resulted in a manuscript that is now 115,000 words, down 35,000 from the original, and with an entirely new and very exciting plot device for the story.

What excites me the most is that Luigi's marketing plan for me, which involves developing my work as a particular 'brand', has resulted in me coming up with two sparkling new ideas for subsequent novels, both of which are represented by recently completed synopsis. I've had some feedback from Luigi on one, and am awaiting an opinion on the other, but I've got a gut feeling that both stories really are quite unique, just like the first, and could cement me a place on the shelves of bookstores that really is my "own".

Getting published is the main priority right now, but once happily published it's standing out from the crowd that really matters. Whilst I can't say what will happen in the future, I feel very optimistic that I'll be producing material that really will be unlike anybody else's work. Can't wait to see what Luigi thinks of the finished re-draft: if it gets his thumbs-up then things can start moving, and we'll have an entire series of potential books to back it up!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Finding your niche.

I didn’t start out writing thriller fiction.

My first written novel was entitled “Man o’ War” and was set in the 18th Century, following the crew of a Royal Navy sloop sent to hunt pirates in the Caribbean, who themselves turn pirate and are hunted down. My second was entitled “Frontier”, and followed a street urchin ‘pressed’ into service aboard an East Indiaman bound for Calcutta in 1838, and from there into the First Afghan War of 1842.

Both were good stories and could have done well. Why didn’t they? Partly because I was still learning my craft ( though agents commented encouragingly on my opening chapters for both novels ) but mainly because I didn’t understand that the publishing industry ebbs and flows in niche revenue much like movies and music: things come in and out of popularity. At the time, historical fiction just wasn’t moving, and so neither did I.

Had I known this I would have researched it further, and perhaps succeeded earlier than I did. Exhausted after such research-heavy endeavours, I spent the next five years writing screenplays for TV / movies. These are even harder to market than debut novels, but I learned a great deal about story-telling whilst doing them.

It was only a few years ago that I began studying the publishing industry, whilst at the same time taking a look at my own bookshelves to see what I was reading, and thus what excited me. Thrillers dominated by far, especially the work of Michael Crichton, along with Lee Childs, a bit of Wilbur Smith and some Jeffrey Deaver. Clearly I needed to write thrillers and my market research revealed that, by and large, thrillers always sell regardless of more general shifts in public interest.

Writing in differing genres can deliver a great deal of perspective on how to produce great work, but if you’re aiming to see your name on the shelves you must be passionate about your subject material and genre, otherwise your lack of enthusiasm will show through no matter how hard you try to conceal it. Find your true focus, let all of your talent rush into it, and spectacular results can occur. It may sound simple, but it took me years to find what I REALLY wanted to write about.

Write what you enjoy, and keep a weather eye on the publishing world. Eventually, work, luck and timing can help you produce the perfect novel at just the moment when publishers are looking for your kind of work. And when they’re looking for something in particular, they’ll approach literary agents, who’ll search their slush piles for just that kind of book…..

Monday, August 02, 2010

Pace versus Depth.

One of the hardest tasks for an author when writing a novel is learning to balance pace against depth of story. It may not sound like much, but it’s surprising how easily a chapter can become bogged down in excess narrative or exposition, boring the reader who wishes only for the story to keep moving along.

On the other hand, it’s also possible to sacrifice so much narrative and atmosphere for pace that the story becomes featureless and barren, devoid of crucial scene-setting that can be so important to placing the reader ‘in’ the story so that the scene at hand blossoms to life in their mind.

My writing, as a rule, is a little heavy on exposition and light on pace. I’ve learned over the years that what I’ve originally taken an entire paragraph to describe will quite often be shaved down to a single line during my editing and redrafting, and rightly so. However, many of the commercial fiction novels I read today seem somewhat vacuous, rocketing along at such pace that everything else, from plot to sub-plot, characterisation to dialogue, seems to go out of the window in favour of Hollywood-style sound-bytes and shoot-outs.

I suppose my point of view might sound pompous, but I’m trying to take a line somewhere between the two extremes. I think that it IS possible to combine good writing with pace – isn’t “good writing” what writing is supposed to be about? Taking the reader somewhere else, letting them escape their own life for a while? If an author can’t take readers into their fictional world in a convincing manner, then surely it’s no longer entertainment. Atmosphere, character development and narrative depth are too important to the art of story-telling to be entirely abandoned.

From my original 150,000 word manuscript, I’m down to a solid 122,000 words. The pace of the work is much swifter now and there’s more action, but I’m not willing to abandon the atmosphere I’ve created for the sake of losing a couple of thousand more words: atmosphere is so rare now in commercial thriller fiction that by keeping it, I may actually benefit.

I need to lose about another 7000 words to be content with the story length. It’s going to have to come off some other way….

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My approach letter to literary agents.

There's an awful lot of advice on the Internet about approach letters, synopsis packages and so on. Unfortunately, much of it is contradictary and leaves the hopeful writer confused and uncertain about how to construct their approach.

I decided that the most important thing was that agents are all very BUSY. They don't have much time to dedicate to searching through the 'slush-pile', and thus if something doesn't grab them within a few lines, they'll pass and move on. For this reason, my approach was as follows;

A) A one-page introductory letter.
B) A one-page synopsis, single line spaced.
C) The first three chapters ( in my case, 21 pages in total ).

Obviously I can't post my synopsis here, but below is my covering letter. This package was sent to ten of the top London agencies in total over a period of two months. Of those ten, only two asked for the full manuscript. Of those, LBA signed me as a client, and I turned down the other one shortly after ( an odd experience in itself after years of rejections! ).

My advice is: Be brief, exciting and professional. Not an easy combination - my letter took several days to perfect, but the effort was worth it in the end.

91 Great Russell Street

Dear Mr Bonomi,

What is the meaning of life? Where do we come from? What happens to us when we die?

I am writing to you as a novelist in search of representation for my commercial fiction thriller ‘Genesis’ (150,000 words). I understand that your client list includes the authors James Becker, David Gibbins and Matt Hilton, and believe that my work may be of interest to you. Genesis tells of a race-against-time search for the existence of xxxxxxxxx, set against the political turmoil of the Middle East. As science discovers an extinct species of xxxxxxxxx and destroys the notion of man as a special creation, powerful groups seek to destroy the evidence before humanity learns of its true origins.

I am thirty-seven years old and have been writing for ten years, with previous work considered as full manuscripts by literary agents in 2007 ( Lorella Belli and Sheil Land Associates ). Genesis is the first in a planned series of novels featuring the protagonist Eddie Warner, a man with a talent for finding lost souls and exposing conspiracies in the world’s most dangerous places.

I have enclosed the first three chapters of Genesis and a short synopsis as advised on your website. Many thanks in advance for any time spent considering my work.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Dean Crawford

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Re-draft.

I've been hard at work since my meeting with Luigi at LBA, trying to make sure that I have a completed manuscript ready by September 2010. Fortunately, despite the amount of work, I'm well on target.

Cutting a 150,000 word novel down to between 110 / 120,000 words is no mean feat in itself, but it's surprising how easy it becomes once you get stuck into it. In my particular case there is a change of story and plot-line to consider, which allows for judicious cutting and editing along the way, but none the less I'm already down to 130,000 words without having lost anything I need.

Harder to achieve is the tremendous amount of research that the story changes require. Years of studying certain aspects of scientific endeavour ( chiefly cosmology and Einstein's General Relativity ) have given way to rapidly gathering information on genetics, mtDNA, Biblical archaeology ( honest! ) and cellular biochemistry. It took me two years to understand relativity. I have two months to master my all of my new subject material, ensure that it's accurate, and incorporate it into the story.

But it's FUN! And that's in addition to Luigi's request for "more action". This has required me to subtly change my hero's motivation and character, giving him a more determined and driven edge to account for his willingness to go on the attack as well as use his wits to achieve his goals. I like my leading characters to be believable, not Uzi-weilding Terminators of the ( yawn ) ex-SAS type, so his actions must be justifiable in the eyes of the reader. To me it's always a disappointment to read about a hero with his back to the wall facing three adversaries, wondering how he's going to get out of the situation, only for him to drop them all using some bloody Vulcan death-grip or something and walk away unscathed, all square-jawed and invincible.

For once, editing and redrafting is a joy, and it's great to see the novel taking its new shape. The pace of the story is almost doubled by removing the things that Luigi felt were unnescessary, and I still have 6-8 weeks to complete the work and polish it before sending it back to Luigi. Onward and upward!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The first meeting with a literary agent.

Now that I’ve calmed down a little, I thought that aspiring authors might appreciate a more detailed breakdown of what happened during my meeting with Luigi Bonomi at LBA. It’s extremely rare for unpublished authors to find themselves in the office of a well established agent, and there was little on the Internet describing such meetings before I had my own. So, here it is.

Luigi was interested initially on how long I had been writing, what about, and what my day job was ( I’d also been asked to send a brief C.V. in advance of the meeting ). The reasoning behind this was to give Luigi a feel for where I was in my life at the time, and also to see if there was anything about me that might help to sell my novels to potential publishers and the public. Many authors write about subjects similar to their occupations, and such expert knowledge helps to encourage readers that they are going to learn something from an authority figure as well as be entertained. ( I am not in that position, but it obviously doesn’t hinder an author if they’ve done what an agent considers to be a good job of their novel ).

Then we got down to business. Considering the sheer volume of material Luigi handles, he recalled a great deal of detail about ‘Genesis’, and was able to sketch out where he felt things were letting the story down. Chief among these was pace, along with his feeling that, having started with what he called “a terrific premise”, I had failed to capitalise upon it during the rest of the novel.

What followed was an hour talking over how to re-write about half of the novel in order to take full advantage of my premise, whilst trimming the novel down from its existing 150,000 words to around 110 – 120,000 words ( not a small task in itself ). This was to promote swifter pace within the story, and also no doubt to keep potential publisher’s costs down, making the title a more appealing accquisition.

Luigi made a point here of remarking that one of his reasons for being willing to work with me was my own willingness to make changes based on his experience and inside knowledge of the publishing industry. We had exchanged e-mails before the meeting, where he had highlighted the novel’s strengths and weaknesses, and my positive responses were what prompted his invite to the LBA offices in London. He then went on to detail how he felt that male thriller-fiction was beginning to move into new directions, and that I should consider following, something that I will definitely be bearing in mind as I get down to re-writing my novel to make it as commercial as possible. I should point out that at no time did Luigi dictate what he felt I should do with the novel – he made suggestions and then we talked them over, bouncing ideas off of each other until we found a compromise that really fitted the work. It was the first time that I’ve been able to do that alongside a publishing professional, and it left me bursting with new ideas.

After a hugely productive hour, Luigi told me that he would send me a standard agency agreement by e-mail that day. I was overjoyed, as you can imagine. He then cautioned me that getting publishers to buy novels, especially in these economic hard-times, was immensely difficult even for established agents, and that nothing might come of this. I accepted that, but between you and me, Luigi doesn’t sign an author unless he has high hopes for them, and he also said that if this novel doesn’t work we’ll have to find something else that does, suggesting to me that we’re in a business partnership that he hopes will last.

So do I!

Friday, June 18, 2010

I have an agent!

I'm absolutely overjoyed to be able to write here that as of Thursday 17th June 2010, I am officially signed as a client to Luigi Bonomi Associates. After an excellent meeting at their London offices on Thursday, during which Luigi ( Literary Agent of the Year 2010 ) made me feel very comfortable ( helpful for a first-novelist meeting a real-life agent for the first time after ten years of effort ) and detailed a number of changes required before the manuscript can be sent out to publishers, Luigi offered me representation.

I can't describe how important this moment was - LBA receives around 6000 submissions per annum, and Luigi will take on only two or three new authors each year. That's odds of 2000-1, and somehow I've passed through the eye of a needle and arrived.

Whilst a re-draft must come first, which we've decided should be completed by around September, I've every confidence in Luigi to give my work the best possible chance at publication. He's an agent with a fantastic track record, a really nice chap with a real passion for finding and nurturing new talent, and if anybody can do it, he can.

I don't believe I could have found myself in a better position. Time to get my head down and complete the re-draft!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Finally, they're taking me seriously!

Well, after so many years it seems odd to be writing this now, but it would appear that I've encountered my shot at the BIG TIME.

I received a letter from Luigi Bonomi at LBA regarding the full manuscript of my novel Genesis, suggesting that it had promise but would require a radical re-write in order to bring it up to publishable standard. He asked for my thoughts on this, and in reply I said I'd be happy to do whatever was required in order to improve and polish the work, including some possible changes of my own.

To my surprise, this resulted in Mr Bonomi replying with a great deal of praise for my professionalism, and with a request that I should pop in to their offices in order to talk over the work some more. Since then, Luigi has really gone the distance for me, providing editorial suggestions and notes prior to our meeting next Thursday and generally telling me as much about what he does like about the novel as what he feels needs changing. I haven't been offered representation yet, and no doubt it will be a while before I am, but it's a hell of a good start!

For an agent as powerful as Luigi Bonomi ( Agent of the Year 2010 no less ) to spend this amount of time and energy on my not-yet-ready to publish book bodes extremely well for the future. For those aspiring writers who may come across these posts in the future, I'll keep recording events as an insight into what happens when an amateur writer finds him or herself crossing the magical boundary between lonely scribe and recognised talent!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Luigi Bonomi on submitting to agents.

I found this interview with the winner of the London Book Award's 2010 Agent of the Year, Luigi Bonomi of LBA, and thought that it might be useful for anyone just starting out in their submission process.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why have one when you can have two?

Well, it's as if time is repeating itself almost. I have two major literary agencies asking to see the full manuscript of my novel 'Genesis'. One is already considering the work, whilst the second got in touch recently.

After last time, when two agencies had full manuscripts of mine and both turned them down, I'm a little less excited. Once bitten, twice shy and all that. None the less, it's very encouraging and at least I know that the story itself is strong enough to grab the attention of very capable ( and very busy ) agents. Once again, however, I'm wringing my hands over whether the rest of the novel lives up to the promise of the submission package.

I've been very fortunate in being in e-mail contact with a successful author represented by one of those agencies: Matt Hilton, author of the Joe Hunter series of thrillers and a top chap, who's been giving me a great deal of advice, inside-knowledge and encouragement on what may happen should things go my way. Having been writing alone for so long, it's great to hear from somebody who's already been through the mill, so to speak, and realise that once upon a time, they too were where I am now.

Two agents, one good novel.... Fingers, legs and eyes crossed that this time things go my way.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's been a looong time.....

But once again I am at the submission stage. After two full-manuscripts being read in 2007 by leading literary agents, both of which were ultimately turned down, I'm now once again chewing my nails and worrying about whether the tome that I've sent out is good enough.

A leading London literary agency is currently reading the full manuscript of my latest thriller, 'Genesis', and I'm alternating between feeling that my chances are good and feeling that I'm an imposter whose efforts can't possibly live up to said agent's existing clients.

It's been just over two months since my initial submission, and a week since the full manuscript went out. It's going to be a tricky wait as I agonise over each and every possible ( phantom ? )flaw with the story, characters, dialogue, pace and on and on and on.....

Fingers crossed I'll be smiling some time soon, but for now I'll just stew in my own desperate indecision. Either I'm on my way, or I'm on the way to disappointment!