Writing Advice & FAQ's
I’m writing a book. How do I get published?
If your manuscript is incomplete, I would strongly advise finishing before you even begin to think about searching for a publisher. Finishing my first novel was a massive hurdle and one that took me around twenty years to achieve. Once that first novel is finished (and yes, you can do it—if I can, anyone can) then you can begin to think about agents, etc. Which leads to the next question.
I’ve written a book. How do I get published?
Hoorah! Congratulations. Writing a novel is hard work. Luckily for writers today, there are several routes to getting published. Most writers still choose the traditional route. This involves querying an agent and hoping that they like your work enough to sign you on and start shopping your manuscript to editors. More about traditional publishing here: https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/writers/preparing-for-submission/how-to-find-a-literary-agent
Another popular path to publication is self publishing. I am not self-published but I know plenty of successful authors who are. You can find a wealth of information here: https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/self-publishing
I did NOT take either of these routes. Which leads us to route number three. Online publishing. I wrote my entire first manuscript ‘True Love’s Ghost’ on the online writing site Wattpad. This is a site where you post chapter by chapter in a serial fashion and members of the site can read it for FREE. For me, this gave me the push I needed to finish a novel. Wattpad also gave me confidence in my work, something I severely lacked. If it wasn’t for Wattpad I wouldn’t be writing today.
How did you go from writing on Wattpad to becoming a traditionally published author?
Wattpad has seen many success stories. Anna Todd, Natasha Preston and Taran Matharu are just some of the big time authors who started out on the site. Everyone’s path to publication is slightly different. I can’t comment on theirs (I’m sure they have loads of information though so do check them out) but for me, the deal came through a program the US publisher Sourcebooks was offering in partnership with Wattpad. It was simple. I tagged my novel with the tag #submittosourcebooks and an editor picked it up. Dating the Undead was one of only two novels to be published from Wattpad in this way. If you’d like more info on this, there are many articles about it in Press Releases. Alas, this path to publication is now scrapped. The editors grew tired of trawling through hundreds of novels. Sourcebooks now rely on Wattpad representatives to suggest novels for them. Which takes us to the next question.
How do I get noticed on Wattpad?
The million dollar question! For me, it was a slow burn. I remember being thrilled at having 9 reads. Imagine, 9 strangers reading my work! Likes and comments didn’t come until much, much later. The way it worked for me is that I made friends with other authors. Not because I wanted them to read my work and follow me, but because I enjoy meeting other writers and I genuinely like making friends. I have a large group of writer friends through Wattpad and I’ve met a lot of them in real life too. I value this aspect of my writing life above anything else. Writing is a tough industry and if it’s going to be a permanent fixture in your life, you’re going to need people around you who understand, so mingle, mingle, mingle. I will say this however, I’ve NEVER once asked anyone on Wattpad to read/follow/vote on my work. Never. I think it’s fair to say, this will not work.
How do I get featured on Wattpad?
I’ve had 3 books featured and it’s a great way of getting your story noticed. Wattpad have recently changed the way they feature stories to make it fairer. These days all you have to do is tag your story #featured and they will take a look. Good luck!
Do you have any tips for writing?
Write, write, and write some more. Writing is a craft, and to get better at it you need to practise. The more you write, the more skilled you become. I took creative writing classes at university and they did NOT help me at all. I’m not saying writing classes are pointless, just that they didn’t help me. In fact, I think if my creative writing teachers knew that I’m now a published author they would probably choke on their Earl Grey. Saying that however, it’s essential to have a basic grasp of grammar. My grammar was atrocious when I started writing. Seriously bad. But the more I write, the more I learn. Also reading is essential. Pay attention to the way authors craft their work, their use of punctuation etc. Every published book is like a free lesson in how to write. Pick up your favourite novel and read the first page. How did they create a hook to pull you in? What type of sentences do they use? Where do they put commas?
Remember if they can do it, so can you. ‘Believe in yourself’ is perhaps the biggest advice I can give.
What’s next for the Bite Nights series?
Alas, at the moment I have no plans to write another novel based around V.Date.com. However, I am working on a novel set in the same world as the Bite Nights books and there are characters that will cross over. Esme from ‘That Killer Smile’ is one who will appear in the new book.
Where can I buy the Bite Nights books?
Paperback copies of Dating the Undead, Drop Dead Gorgeous and That Killer Smile are available from all major book retailers across the US and Australia with the ebook and audiobook available worldwide.
Where can I buy a paperback copy of That Killer Smile?
I get asked this question a lot and unfortunately the answer is always the same. That Killer Smile is only available as a kindle and eBook. This is because the publisher cancelled the print run of That Killer Smile. It sucks but in the cutthroat world of publishing, it happens all the time. If you don't have an e reader and really would like to read it, please contact me and I will see what I can do.
Will Cat & Ronin get their own book?
Yes! Their story is titled 'That Killer Smile' and was released on February 6th 2018. The blurb can be read on the Home page.
Will you read my work?
No. I’m sorry. As a working mother, I have a busy day job as well as my writing job. There aren’t enough hours in the day.
Where do you get your ideas?
I get ideas in many ways. Sometimes I dream stories. True Love’s Ghost is loosely based on a dream, and I recently wrote a piece of flash fiction that came to me in the middle of the night. Spooky. Other than this, I’m inspired by many things—art, buildings, movies. If you’re writing a book or thinking of writing a book, get out there and live your life. Ideas happen when you least expect it. The book I’m writing now is inspired by a dilapidated strip club I spotted on holiday in Blackpool. Ideas are like snowballs—they start off tiny but quickly gather momentum as you roll them around in your mind. Also, make notes. I often type things into the notes section of my i phone while I’m out and about—place names I find interesting, buildings, ideas etc. If you don’t write things down quickly you won’t remember them. Trust me. This happens all the time.
Please feel free to contact me with any other questions you’d like to see added to the page.