BOOK REVIEW: Rule Zero by Laurence Timms

As I'm currently wending my way down the road of traditional publishing, my appetite for books of all stripes grows voraciously. So when Laurence Timms told me about his new book RULE ZERO - a "darkly comic fantasy thriller" - it sounded right up my alley! It follows Harry Bacon, a shady man from the depths of the Ministry of Defence, previously leading a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and now largely mothballed. But when experiments from his past start exploding all over the place, and his friends use their dying words to warn him, he is dragged back to adventure, recruiting unlikely allies to stop a mission of revenge. The style reminds me greatly of Jasper Fforde (The Eyre Affair, etc.) and it has the same irreverent approach to the status quo, though it is nominally a universe similar to ours. The novel uses gateway characters to good effect, using folk with no idea of this topsy-turvy underworld or those with only...
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Pitching with Brits

Ahead of the LCWF, I asked Twitter for advice about pitching. Firstly, Lucy Vee has a post with 5 Pitching Tips. Then, we have advice from the wondiferous Phill Barron: Keep a check on your breathing; if it's too fast you're panicking. Force yourself to breathe slower and you'll calm down. Same goes for posture, if you're tense, your shoulders rise. Keep them low and relaxed - it'll help you relax. Eye contact, but not too much. Smile, but not too much. Rehearse, but leave enough space for improv if the mood strikes. Start with basic info, like lead paragraph in a newspaper. Genre, who, where, what ... etc. As interesting as possible. If it's a single, cover ALL the beats. If it's a series, try to make the possibilities seem endless. Most important: believe your story's awesome, only you can tell it and they HAVE to make it Excitement generates excitement Lead character and plot should be as intertwined as possible: it's a story about someone who must...
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