Thursday, June 30, 2011

Amazing quotes for COVENANT!

Had some great news over the past few weeks, as Simon & Schuster and Touchstone USA have been working hard on the launch publicity for "Covenant": two great quotes, both from best-selling authors!

"Get the cameras rolling—Indiana Jones meets Alien. What a combination of mystery, suspense, and unspeakable horror. I loved it!"

R.L. Stine, best-selling US author with some 400 million sales worldwide.

"Earth-shattering intrigue, hyperdrive action and a desperate race to save humanity, cranked up to the max with scarily realistic science and apocalyptic religion thrown in for good measure . . . a major new talent has hit the mystery thriller scene!"

Scott Mariani, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lost Relic

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Well, the verdict on my third book's title came back to me recently, and I'm delighted to say that the team at Simon & Schuster love it! CONTINUUM is now under way with the first few chapters written, and the synopsis for the story was given a huge thumbs up by my editor Maxine Hitchcock.

Currently, I'm working on the edits for book 2, ELIXIR. They're not too extensive, mostly involving character development and some general tidying up. I'm aiming to have them complete by early July, at which point I'll focus on finishing the first draft of CONTINUUM. I've also been informed that a meeting at the S&S offices with my agent, Luigi Bonomi, is on the cards around the end of August, which will involve the planning for launch publicity. I'm not sure what this will entail, although I have already heard that adverts on the CBS Action channel are confirmed ( as per a previous post ). Other news is that S&S are already working on the cover artwork for ELIXIR. The publisher generally gets to work on such things around ten months in advance of publication, and with ELIXIR due out in May 2012 this means that they're on the case already.

For my part, after much graft I'm ahead of schedule by a few weeks at the moment, giving me the opportunity to take my time with the current editorials. It's a great relief, as we're house hunting right now and everything that entails. Fingers crossed for the perfect home!!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Dodgy Literary Agents.

One of the disadvantages of working from home right now is that my partner watches a lot of daytime television whilst she looks after our daughter, Emma. From time to time, as I'm working, I'll wander in and see her watching something completely useless to humanity: however, yesterday I saw her watching Fake Britain, and wanted to share with my followers what I saw.

A fake literary agent, running his so-called "business" from a spare room in his elderly mother's bungalow ( where he lived, in his forties ) had conned roughly three-quarters of a million pounds from aspiring writers across the country over several years. His method was to charge a nominal reading fee, but then coax hopeful writers into parting with ever larger sums of cash by promising them Hollywood film deals and such like. This individual, who was ultimately jailed, had literally thousands of untouched manuscripts littering his property, all representing the dreams of hopeful authors, discarded without even a glance. One poor woman, who had written her father's life story and sent it to this supposed agent, was promised a £100,000 advance and a film deal. Sadly, she spent the money on her elderly and disabled mother before she'd received the promised advance, which of course never materialised. She lost her home as a result.

For any aspiring writer dropping by here, whatever you do, follow the below guidelines to ensure that you're not about to be taken for a ride. Anybody can set themselves up as a literary agent, and some perfectly respectable agencies do charge a small reading fee. Frankly, you don't need to pay this as there's plenty of excellent agencies out there who do not charge anything. Finding, signing and getting deals for writers is where they make their money...

1) Start always with agencies who are members of the Association of Author's Agents, an organisation designed to protect author's rights.

2) Never pay a reading fee. Why would you, when the best agencies don't charge one?

3) Search the Internet to see which writers the agency in question represents. A fake agent won't have client list. Likewise, look for a website and agency connections that prove their validity. If possible, contact one of those authors - connections never hurt and it might even let you know what the agent in question is like to work with.

4) Don't send work to a suspicious looking agency just because everyone else has turned you down. Tempting as it may be, it won't further your chances and you might well be wasting your time.

5) Be patient. All reputable agencies are extremely busy and take time to process the hundreds of submissions they receive every week. Check their websites for a guide to how long you may have to wait. If that time passes, make a polite phone call just to find out how things are going.

6) If you discover a fake agent, tell EVERYBODY so that others can learn to steer clear.

7) Don't quit. Most agents are brilliant, and if you're a good writer, sooner or later somebody will notice your talent.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

We have a winner!!

Many thanks to all those who submitted entries into my Title Competition! I didn't realise that there were so many people watching my blog from so far afield - nor did I think I'd have to sit and really think hard about which title to pick from so many great ideas!

However, after much pacing, chin holding and pulling of hair, I'm delighted to announce that Dean Owen from Newbury has won with the cunningly thought-out title of "CONTINUUM". Dean also suggested the title "Spacetime" along with it, but Continuum suggests connections to spacetime in the public perception anyway, and the title fits well with preceding novels Covenant and Elixir.

There were a LOT of entries, many from readers who put a lot of effort into explaining their suggestions. I'd like to thank everyone for all of their efforts, and please do keep reading my blog as I approach my first publication date as I'm sure there will be much more happening in the coming months...