Another step along the road…

 Writing  Comments Off on Another step along the road…
Jul 312017

Hello everyone, I’m incredibly happy to say that I’ve got some good news to share with you.

I’ve got an agent!

Earlier this year I returned to my first manuscript The Woe Waters to give it a work over and ensure that it was as good as it could possibly be. Any writer will tell you that taking the plunge and sending your manuscript out to an agent is a nerve-wracking experience. It’s a little like seeing your child leave home. You’ve created them and raised them and you’re full of hope and pride. But it’s mixed with an (un)healthy smattering of worry and doubt about how things will turn out when they have to fend for themselves in the outside world. So it was with a combination of anticipation and trepidation that I took a deep breath and sent it out in search of an agent.

There were an anxious few weeks, and much checking of inboxes, as I waited for a response. But I’m absolutely delighted to say that all of the hard work (and worry) was worth it, and I’m now represented by the fabulous Diane Banks Associates.

It’s far from the end of my journey to publication, but it is an incredibly important step. And I’m really looking forward to sharing that journey with Diane and her team. So last evening I rewarded myself with a glass or two of something fizzy, and want to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged me along the way. Cheers!

 Posted by at 9:13 am

Agent hunting

 Writing  Comments Off on Agent hunting
Jul 302017

So I’d edited and polished, polished and edited my debut novel – it shone! But now how to find a literary agent who loved it as much as I do? There’s so many agents listed when a search on Google is done, where to even begin?! I admit I was lost. I didn’t want to thumb my way backwards and forward through paperback listings, and I didn’t want to work my way blindly through hundreds of search engine results.

There must be another way. Well you know, I mean there must be an easier way to find the right agent for me. I had specifics and so do agents, how to get the jigsaw pieces to fit together?

And then I came across the Agent Hunter website. Bingo!

I was a little suspicious at first, I mean there are all sorts of scams out there trying to part a naive new writer from their money. But I signed up for a free trial and got searching.

There’s the ability to search for agents or agencies, and even publishers. Your search can be narrowed down to quite detailed specifics. I was looking for an agent who was open to submissions, looking for crime writing and a member of the Association of Authors Agents. There were other categories to narrow down my search too, and I found a reasonable number to try out.

Now I can’t say I found an agent on my first (or even on my second) submission, but what I did find was the right agent for me! Yes, that’s right I found an agent and I’m thinking our jigsaw pieces fit together well. And we’re starting off on the trail to publication, I’m so excited. So all thanks to Agent Hunter and my recently found literary agency Diane Banks Associates. Yippee!



 Posted by at 8:32 pm

Agatha and me.

 Events, Writing  Comments Off on Agatha and me.
Jul 302017

Theakstons Crime Festival

In early December 1926 the mistress of crime Agatha Christie became the subject of a real life mystery that could have graced the pages of one of her own books when she went missing for ten days. Following a nationwide hunt Agatha was eventually discovered, ostensibly suffering from amnesia, in the Swan Hydropathic Hotel in Harrogate. Whether she’d really lost her memory, was suffering a breakdown from overwork and the death of her mother, or – as some have suggested – was seeking revenge on her husband who the night before had demanded a divorce so that he could marry his lover, we may never know. But it certainly helped put Harrogate on the crime writing map.

Ninety one years later and Harrogate is again the centre of the crime writing world. The Swan Hydropathic Hotel – now somewhat more snappily renamed the Old Swan – last weekend played host to the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. What Agatha would have made of it is anyone’s guess.

She couldn’t fail to have been impressed by the 16,000 crime writers, publishers, agents and fans who made what is now an annual pilgrimage to Yorkshire’s premier spa town. And despite the numbers it’s famous for its friendliness and informality. Crime writers spend much of their lives sitting alone in their room dreaming up ways to dispose of people, but when they escape from behind a desk they’re some of the most gregarious and generous-hearted folk you could wish to meet.

I hope Agatha would have been gratified to see thAgatha exhibition postere exhibition celebrating her life and work. It celebrated too the inspiration she found in archaeology – her second husband Max Mallowan was one of the leading archaeologists of her day and Agatha, who spent many a happy hour trowel in hand, became as much of an expert at piecing together ancient pottery as she did in putting together the plots of her novels. So I like to think in some small way the two of us have more than a little in common.

Agatha & me. Things in common.


The glorious thing about Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is that whatever your tastes run to in the world of crime fiction you’ll find something to suit, from the classics of the Golden Age to Ian Rankin (celebrating 30 years of John Rebus) or Lee Child (winner of this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award). And you’ll never be short of good company to share it with.

 Posted by at 5:29 pm