Time For My Close Up: My First Photoshoot!

When I found out I needed a promotional photo for my upcoming novel "Binary Witness", I panicked. A quick flick through the options revealed a lot of big white dress and my engagement pics were two years and five hairstyles ago. So I started hunting for a headshot photographer and a friend recommended Shane Gunning in Reading (who I also recommend, because he's fantastic!). My friend and I took a jaunt up to Reading and I freaked out over what to wear. When writing, I usually wear t-shirt and jeans (what I'm wearing now, in fact) but that wasn't quite the look I wanted. I picked a turquoise green jumper dress with black tights and boots, with a thick black coat to keep out the cold. I put on some make-up, including a bit of cover-up for those late-night writer's dark circles, and I did something with my hair that made it look less like I'd just crawled out of bed (default...
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Retitling: A Book by Any Other Name Would Sell as Sweet?

Further to my post last week about the acquisition of my novel by Carina Press, I thought I'd shed some light on one aspect of my journey to publication: retitling. The working title for my novel was Ctrl+Alt+Del. I'll admit that I was pretty happy with it - I felt it captured the elements of hacking, stalking and murder pretty aptly. However, Carina rightly pointed out that search engine results would commonly bring up the keyboard shortcut in preference to the novel. Therefore I was asked to go through a retitling process. It started with a Title Worksheet. This involved teasing out information about the book that could feed into a new title: genre, themes, conflicts, etc. The next stage was coming up with a new list of possible titles. I was surprised how difficult I found this, as I've always found picking a title one of the easiest parts of writing. Of course, this may because I'm naff at it... For inspiration, I decided...
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From Twitter pitch to two-book deal: How I became a Carina Press author

So, it's official: I am a Carina Press author! Now I've signed on the dotted line and finalised my first manuscript for publication, I want to share the story of how my manuscript was acquired by Carina Press. My story begins on April 4th 2013. I had just returned home at half-nine in the morning after a long night shift. As I got into bed, I decided to check Twitter one last time. On my timeline, I saw folk promoting #carinapitch - an opportunity to pitch to a digital-first imprint of Harlequin via Twitter, with editors favouriting your Tweet as a request to read the manuscript. (If you've participated in #PitchMAS or something similar, you'll be aware of the format). Sounds good, I thought. An opportunity to hone my pitching skills. So I crafted my Twitter pitch and scheduled it for while I was sleeping. Ctrl+Alt+Del: An agoraphobic hacker and a streetwise ex-con team up to hunt down a serial killer in Cardiff. #carinapitch—...
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Getting Back On The Horse

I've been away from the keyboard for a while due to family things. I was lacking in inspiration and I had no idea where to start. So when an e-mail popped up asking me to meet with a producer to discuss feature film ideas, I thought this might be a good water-testing exercise. Get the creative juices flowing again. He gave me a location brief and I threw together a handful of ideas, condensed them into loglines and character sketches, and set off to London Waterloo for coffee. I come out of that meeting feeling positive. One of the ideas was adapted from an old story that had been brewing for a while but I hadn't found a way to make it work. It had been set aside for a number of months, occasionally pulled out for inspection, and then returned to the virtual drawer. Said producer was also enthusiastic about my percolated idea and, before I knew what was happening, I had...
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Things I’ve Been Doing Instead of Updating My Blog

You know that thing where writers leave you hanging for months because they're off having "thinking time" or pioneering the depths of the ocean? You know how much we all hate that? Yeah, I'm that writer. Except without the exciting excuses. I seriously doubt anyone's been waiting on tenderhooks for me to update this blog, but if you have been even the least bit tender or hooked, I apologise. In the meantime, I've been working on a number of things - some of which I'm allowed to share and some which are currently under wraps, alas. Remember that exciting series of short films set underwater? While we work on the feature scripts, the team decided that we would move sideways into graphic novels. We're currently working on the first issue and it's coming along nicely. The Realm Pictures crew are also currently working on a number of projects which fall under the category of Not Talking About It Yet. Suffice to say, the boys...
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