Welcome to Pages of Fear blog hop

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Welcome to the first ever Pages of Fear blog hop. It’s a pre-Halloween event celebrating authors who like to fright and delight with their writing. As you progress through the twenty-eight blogs/websites you’ll learn about authors you may already know and be introduced to some new ones.Everyone loves the opportunity to get something free. All of the authors have gathered together to give ONE lucky winner signed copies of their books (one per author). You may even find other types of giveaways on their sites so, keep your eyes open. While you’re looking you want to locate the secret word on each site. Make a list of the words in the proper order. When you reach the final destination (Authorsfbenson.com), you’ll find an email address. Send your list to it. The winner will be selected courtesy of random.org.

I guarantee you’ll have fun.

Ready?

Get on your marks.

Get set.

GO!

To continue the hop, please go to Kristie Cook by clicking here.

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The Three Walls

6a017d3e74d693970c01901e4f6719970b-320wiGetting an agent these days is a tough achievement and if you do manage to score one, it doesn’t mean instant success. I had an agent a few years ago, and while we had a great relationship, she struggled to sell my book. In the end, we parted ways and I sold the title to my current publisher.

In the world of agents, plucking a winner from the slush pile seems like a mean feat. They are extremely picky with who and what they choose. From what I’ve experienced over the years, I find there are three walls to break down before securing an agent:

  • The Query – This step manages to befall even the best of writers. Your query letter must be like a resume – professional, quick and relatable. What I mean by that is, you have to edit each query to every agent you query to. Like a job application, you wouldn’t send a CV with experience of retail to a doctor’s surgery. Every agent has different specifications you must adhere to and if you don’t, you’ve screwed your first impression. Always read the agent’s requests and follow them. Most of the time, they don’t accept unsolicited mail, so always copy and paste your sample into the body of an email. 99% of agents will ask this.

If you’re successful in your query, the agent will ask for sample chapters.

  • The sample chapters – Sample chapters will usually involve the first 1-3 chapters or the first 50 pages – whichever comes first. Always ensure your work is tip top shape before sending it over. Remember, the agent is keen to see more of your work so make sure it’s edited and formatted as per their site (if they request this). If they don’t, I usually submit in Times New Roman, font size 12 and line space of 1.5 or 2.

It will take time for them to get back to you, so BE PATIENT! The agent will usually specify how long it will take to come back with an answer on their website. 6-8 weeks is pretty standard for samples. Some agents might even take more. If you get itchy feet and its hitting the 9-10 week mark, send the agent a polite email chasing up your work. If they don’t reply within a normal time frame, don’t keep sending emails. Just assume your work wasn’t successful.

  • The Full MS – By this point, you have secured the agent’s interest. Well done! It’s an exciting and hellish time. The agent can take up to 3 months to read your work and get back to you. This wall is the hardest to break. The smallest thing can alter their decision – the main character ticked them off or the book’s ending didn’t satisfy them. It’s important to invest in good beta readers to ensure your work is covered by different types of readers. Each person is unique in what they like and spot in your work.

It’s okay to send a reminder to the agent if they haven’t gotten back to you within their time frame. It’s during this time, you should do some background on the agency in case they offer representation. This should be done from the query side, but it doesn’t hurt to look now. Contact their authors and politely ask what they are like etc.  If you are happy with what you’ve found out, sit back and wait for their response.

While the rate of authors being picked up isn’t rare, the numbers are small. Some agencies only sign 5-10% of their slush pile. If an agent likes your work and sees potential, they will offer representation. Congratulations!  The next step is world domination!

Her Sweetest Downfall Out Soon

her sweetest downfall mock 3My next WW2 fiction novel Her Sweetest Downfall will be releasing on April 28th. Two releases this month already – I’m on a roll!

I’m very excited by this novel and I hope you all like it. I broke my tradition by publishing with another publisher. Blue Tulip Publishing has been very patient and supportive during the editing process and I’m looking forward to working with them in the future.

Her Sweetest Downfall is a forbidden love story set during the height of the London Blitz. Writing this novel was a challenging test for me and I put everything into this book.

Stay tuned for a buying link to Amazon and other retailers. I would love to hear your feedback when its out. Happy reading!

RELEASE DAY!

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Edge of Tomorrow is out now! You can find it on Amazon for $3.00.

As some of you may know, writing this book was one of the hardest things I had to do. At the time, I was going through some personal things (job loss etc) and it really made me question my love for writing. I was willing to give it up! However, I prevailed and here we are with this release date.

I’m very proud of this novel and I hope you enjoy reading it. I put so much love and tears into this title that I hope it reflects.

I’ll love to hear what you think so head over to the Contact page and hit me up on social media!

I’m On a Shelf!

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I repeat I’m on a shelf. Thank you Blue House Books for making this dream a reality. You really support local authors. I popped in today to check out the awesome store and saw my work. I never thought the day would come to see one of my own books on a store shelf.

Click on the image to see a larger version. I’m not hard to spot!

Edge of Tomorrow update

After a bit of a hiccup with EoT and my then publisher earlier this year, the novel has found a home with my pub Soul Mate Publishing. That makes four books with SMP. I’m excited and relieved for it to be contracted. I’m not sure of the release date so stay tuned. I envision it to be in 2015.