Monday, 21 March 2011

What an agent does

At the moment, I am obsessed with looking at agents - mianly because I want to get one.

I came across this excellent piece in Mslexia -

Not only does it tell you whether you need an agent (not enough money in poetry and short stories apparently), but it tells you what an agent does. And, no, they do much more than take a cut of your earnings.

And, there's interviews with six very different agents who offer advice on how best to approch them.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

The blurb for Vile City

I'm working on the final edit now and trying to figure out where to send it. But, here's the blurb (here's hoping you'll see something similar on the back of a book soon) -

The women of Glasgow have real reason to be afraid.  A man dubbed ‘the Glasgow Grabber’ is on the loose and they are his prey. 

DI Waddell is the detective called in to save the day.  But, he has problems of his own. 
The paperwork on his desk is piling up faster than the knickers at a porn shoot, he’s a borderline diabetic addicted to Irn Bru, and to top it all, he’s been lumbered with a Hen Broon look-alike with glasses because his finest detective and friend Stevie is languishing in a psychiatric hospital.  And don’t even get him started on his pompous, ex-Army boss and the pain in the bahookie hack who comes round every time she smells the scent of human suffering. 

The last thing Waddell needs is the country’s biggest case to land on his lap. 

Driven by the belief that third victim, the plucky Shelley Craig is still alive Waddell is in a desperate race against time to uncover the truth behind the abductions and to save her.  To do that, he and his team must delve into the seedy underbelly of Scotland’s swingers’ scene and a sick world where women are tricked into the sex trade and traded like cattle.    

Along the way Waddell will discover one thing is true: the female of the species is more deadly than the male.    

Vile City is a tale of criminal skulduggery, set in a city Waddell once loved, but is fast growing to despise because of all the darkness he sees. 

It finally arrived...the Pitlochry Quaich

Yesterday it arrived, an oddly shaped package and I thought 'what on earth is this?' Then I opened it and out popped the Pitlochry Quaich. Until I held it in my hands I didn't believe I had actually won the Scottish Association of Writers award for a crime novel.

Thanks go to the wonderful Barbara Hammond at Writers' Umbrella for ensuring the trophy got to me as I was unable to attend because of personal reasons.

Why you don't need/want and agent

To balance out the last post on why you need an agent, I thought I would include a link to a piece top-selling author Stephen Leather wrote on his website about agents. Well, I think calling them 'scum-sucking parasites' is hardly a recommendation.

To visit his list of books, click on this book

To read more, just go to his website page at and go down to the blue box that says 'If you want an agent click here' and a word doc called 'Agents' will appear. It lists dozens of them.

Happy hunting.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Why you need an agent

I found this great piece on why you need an agent that I think is a must for any writer -

As someone who hopes to get one soon, I found this piece made me even more motivated to become a represented writer. Not least of all because I am terrible at this contract stuff.

I have probably have signed one giving my soul to the devil and not noticed!

Here's another good piece I found on the pet peeves of literary agents -

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Can't believe I won the Pitlochry Quaich for a crime novel

Today I got a phone call. At first I thought it was one of those nuisance callers we've been getting recently who want to sell you a conservatory (we live in a flat), a new kitchen (our flat is rented), a trip to the Moon (too busy). So, I picked up the phone with a great deal of trepidation and guess what, it was good news.

I have won the Pitlochry Quaich for the opening and synopsis of my crime novel Vile City.

I can't believe it and am currently in a state of shock.

I'd like to thank Writers' Umbrella, the online writing group I belong to. It was through them that I was eligible for this competition.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Simon Kernick king of the thriller

I've just finished Simon Kernick's latest book The Payback. It's the third book about Dennis Milne; one of my all time favourite fictional characters.

I've been a long time fan of the man and was interested to see the five of his all time favourite thrillers.

Have a peak and ask yourself if they would on your list and if not what would you have instead -
Thanks go to castlepilot for tweeting me the link.

DI Duncan Waddell - Detective in a Coma Book 2

What to do when your phone is stolen

I've been lucky in that I've never had my phone stolen, at least until last weekend. At first I thought I'd droppe...