Monday, 22 April 2013

Two Gentlemen of Verona, with apologies to William Shakespeare

About this time of year in 1997--16 years ago, although that barely seems possible--I sat down in front of my very first PC.  I was determined that, having run out of excuses, I would write the novel I had been promising myself for years.  I had some vivid characters and the outline of the plot.

That Friday evening, after a day at work and a light dinner, I wrote the opening chapter of The Zael Inheritance.  (It transpired, in a process that all novelists will understand, that I'd actually written Chapter 7).

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Back in Action

The Macmillan New Writers blog has been quiet the past months but the same can't be said about  the writers.  On March 20, Frances Garrood, Eliza Graham, Simon Packham, Tim Stretton, Deborah Swift, Len Tyler, and I tore ourselves away from our writing desks and met for lunch at Brown's Covent Garden in London.  

What's up?  What's new?  Tim is working on a steampunk novel, Len continues to wreck havoc in the world of crime, Eliza and Deborah are bringing the past alive with compelling characters, Frances is involved in the world of e-book publishing, Simon's novels inspire young adults to turn off social media and actually read, and I was in London celebrating the release of my second novel. 

And the latest trends in the publishing world?  We talked about those, too.  To blog or not to blog?  What about GoodReads?  Twitter?  And self-publishing?  We all had opinions but one thing was clear.  Much has changed since we published our first novels with Macmillan New Writing. 

One thing remains the same:  the friendships forged by those of us lucky enough to be part of MNW, an upstart imprint with an editor willing to look at work by unknown writers not represented by agents.  Our publication experiences were and still are different from most authors', and that's what unites us today.  I wouldn't change that for anything.