All posts tagged: author

Dissecting the trash fire that was my first query letter

17th December 2015: the fateful day I decided to begin my querying journey. Why did I chose to start in December, the month all agents are closed? Well, that’s not the subject of this blog post. No, what we’re talking about today is: all of my other mistakes. Come on down! We are taking a horrifically painful look at my very first query letter, the one I wrote with the trusty help of The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2015 edition and nothing else. This letter may have failed to secure me an agent (obviously, look at it, it’s awful), but it will live on in glory as a lesson to future querying writers: here’s what not to do. All right campers, let’s take a look: Look closely: the greeting is perfection. Formal address, comma at the end. No “Dear Agent” around here, no ma’am. Couldn’t have crafted a more amazing greeting. 10 points to Ravenclaw. The opener is where this letter starts to derail, though. It is not (currently) best practice to begin your query …

10 Years, 10 Books: Best of the Decade

Switching it up this year! Instead of posting a yearly round-up (because, to be honest, I haven’t had the most fulfilling reading year in 2019!), let’s talk about my absolute favourite books published in the last ten years. That I have read. Obviously.   The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M. H. Boroson This book was everything I didn’t know I wanted; a proper little gem picked up on a whim just because the literary Gods smiled upon me one evening. I did not expect to get so into it, but when your protagonist is a martial arts expert with astral projection abilities who can see into the depths of the supernatural underworld of 19th century Chinatown in San Francisco … I don’t believe it’s possible to go wrong. Inspiring, thoroughly entertaining, something a bit different and completely unexpected. Plus, it’s always good to support small presses! This book totally makes the list. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon Another ghost story has made the list, this time taking place in a dystopian futuristic London/Oxford. …

This is why I write

Some useless dude once told me I should give up on writing. “You really should stop,” he said. “What’s the point? There’s no money in writing.” As if I didn’t know. As if I had spent my youthyears toiling away thinking I was going to be the next JK Rowling. As if money is the only reason we do anything. I suffer no delusions, trust me. I’ve always known what I’m getting myself in for. Authors make a pitiful amount of money and it’s only getting worse, yet here I am, still fighting for my place on the shelf. This is what a lot of non-writer people don’t understand about my (stellar) choice of career. They’re either under the impression that publishing is a lucrative career option (it’s not), or they think I’m a fucking idiot. Because why oh why would anyone work so hard if they’re not going to be paid for it? I’m no stranger to reward-free work. I’m surprised I stayed in school as long as I did, for the amount of …

What I learned over the course of a ninth draft

Draft nine of my heart-project has taken me three months of raw, no-shortcuts, hard work. I have never reached a ninth draft before. I don’t know many other authors who have revised their work this many times, and I certainly didn’t expect to be one of them. I have never put so much of my time, energy and soul into something. I have never held onto this kind of hope and belief in a project as I have with The Young Volcanoes of Tenemere. I’ve never held onto this kind of belief in myself.

Goodreads and my many emotions

#TYVOT has officially landed. Well, on Goodreads at least! It’s finally listed, in all of its semi-finished glory, a beautiful statement in the Goodreads database. It all feels so real. After so many years of working, of dreaming, my novel is coming to life. Publication is coming (on Nov 1st 2018, if I can afford everything in time!) When I saw my book up there, and by extension my swanky new Goodreads author profile, I did have myself quite the moment. Not only did I feel the excitement but I felt validated for the first time. I have always felt more comfortable calling myself a writer, as opposed to an author. But now I’m feeling like I should be owning that title, because hell yeah I’m an author and I worked damn hard to be able to call myself that.