Hello all from a sunny but cold Devon this morning. Much has been happening on the book front. Here’s the summary:
‘Kiss and Tell’ had a free promo period in January, which sparked a lot of interest and a large number of downloads. As ever these free mini periods seem to lead to an increase in sales during the following period, as to exactly why that is I’ll leave to those more au fait with the nuances of marketing.
There was also some much appreciated coverage on various blogs including interviews with Lloyd Paige and Mel Sherratt, and review posts from ‘CrimeThrillerGirl’ and ‘Confessions of a Mystery Novelist’. I’d like to thank bloggers Steph and Margot, and others, for their respective comments on ‘Kiss and Tell.’
Margot [Confessions] went into considerable detail, as she tends to do, with an in-depth insight into the book. Her reviews are always fascinating. Read her posts and you’ll soon see that she has both a healthy interest and a detailed understanding of the genre. I always find her themed blogs, where she explores particular aspects of crime fiction, the most revealing. Here she draws on her wide reading and knowledge to compare and contrast authors across the board, past and present.
In the not too distant future ‘Kiss and Tell’ will also be available as a paperback. I wanted to find out how ebook sales would go first, and they’ve gone well. A fair few folk have expressed an interest in a paperback version and it will be out fairly soon, hopefully sometime next month.
It’s a very busy time writing wise, as I am now in the final stages of editing and proof reading my second novel ‘Defending Elton’. I am very excited about it because it’s been my ‘baby’ for some time now and I want to get it as ship-shape as possible before release. I’m not going to give any spoilers, but I will say it is a bit ‘different’ from the norm, and those who have read it for me, mostly professionals in the industry, have been enthusiastic in their support.
A very early draft was read by literary agent Kate Jones, a few years back now. Those of you who’ve read my previous blogs will know that I met Kate quite by accident. In fact it wasn’t until after I’d met her that I found out what a respected figure she was. She had taken me under her wing and promised to find me the right agent/publisher cocktail, as she put it. I was chuffed when she described the book as ‘a stunningly inventive crime fiction tale’.
Kate and I shared a few coffees, actually hot chocolate I seem to remember in her case, and chewed the fat over the legal world, which we both shared an interest in. She had an instinct for injustice, which led her to publish Gerry Conlon’s book ‘Proved Innocent’. She was bold in her support, and not many would have published such a no holds barred account of his wrongful imprisonment for IRA bombings.
To me Kate was just a friendly acquaintance who was effervescent in her support. To others, I later found out, she was a mighty figure in the literary world, working for high profile publishers including Penguin and Viking. At one time she also looked after Ian Fleming Publications and was responsible for the ‘Bond estate’. In fact some put Bond’s resurgence of the last decade as much down to her as anyone.
Much of this I had no idea about. She could have bragged about all sorts, but spent most of her time with me just chatting and making me smile. She had a sharp sense of humour. In fact she was sharp at everything, with an acute and often instant understanding.
She was just about to contact agents and publishers for me when tragically her cancer returned. I didn’t know that it had struck before, all I knew is that one minute she was a bright and bubbly soul and the next she was gone.
That’s why it has taken so long for ‘Defending Elton’ to re-surface. I was so rocked by Kate’s demise that it took me another year just to write in her suggestions for amendments, a job that should only have taken a week at the most. After a while an agent called Broo Doherty took it on for me, but found that the commissioning editors at the time were both restrained by the financial crisis and wary of new writers to take too many risks. Broo was very deflated about it and couldn’t understand why it was taken up. However, the more I’ve learned the more I realise what a lottery getting published can be.
That’s when I decided to go down the direct route. By that time Kiss and Tell was also nearly written so ‘Elton’ had to follow in the queue… and that’s where I am with it at present.
I just wanted to take the time to mention Kate Jones though. She was an inspiration to me, and when ‘Defending Elton’ is launched I will be thinking of her.