Any writer who has tried to become published knows the difficulty of getting into print, so I’m not going to go over that here. When I started, I set my stall out and decided that self-publishing was not for me. I’ve nothing against it, but it’s just not what I wanted to do. There are many self-published books which are deserving of a traditional deal and a wider print audience, but that in itself is slightly patronising, in that many of those books don’t need a traditional deal to achieve what the author wants. Self publishing is now a force to be reckoned with, and works for many people, but it wasn’t the way I wanted to go.
I spent around four years trying to get an agent, and doing various re-writes to improve my work. Eventually, I signed with an agent in New York, Eric Nelson, who as an ex-editor, was extremely helpful in advising on my work. We tried the big publishers in New York, but with no joy. It’s very difficult for a debut author to crack the market, and even more difficult if you live in a different country. What I didn’t have was a track record. C’est la vie, but it’s a business decision, they have to be careful where they invest their money, so I’ve no complaints.
Then we contacted Clare Cain at Fledgling Press in Edinburgh, and the ball started rolling. Working with Clare and her team is a pleasure, and I’m really looking forward to the day Names Of The Dead hits the shelves, which is planned for the end of July 2015. The book launch will be in Waterstones in Edinburgh, and I’ll post details when confirmed.