Learning New Stuff
2/What is the best and worst thing about your job?
Best. Being able to go on brief adventures and then stay at home with the family while I write about them.
Worst. Hours and days, weeks and months of typing.
3/What are you working on at the moment?
I am writing an autobiography for Melissa Bell, the singer, kidney dialysis campaigner and mother of X-Factor winner, Alexandra Burke, and a book about James Martin, futurologist and founder of “The James Martin 21st Century School” at Oxford University. (He donated £100-million to them last year and lives on his own private island in Bermuda). I am putting the finishing touches to the prequel of “The Overnight Fame of Steffi McBride”.
4/What book would you have liked to have agented?
Do you mean what book would I have liked to have ghosted?
If so, I would like to be ghosting for Dan Brown on a 50/50 split of the proceeds.
5/What inspires you in a writer?
Anyone who can lift a curtain for me onto a world I didn’t previously know anything about.
6/What top tip would you give to an unpublished writer?
Never, never, never give up.
7/What’s the most common mistake writers make in submission letters?
They give too much information. You must make your first submission short enough to be read in seconds and tempting enough to make the agent/publisher want to know more.
8/What writer would you like to have round for tea?
P.G. Wodehouse if he talked like he wrote – but he probably didn’t
9/What could writers do to promote themselves and their writing?
Set up a website containing a way to order the book (via Amazon if not via the website itself), and then do everything in their power to get people to visit that website and click the crucial buttons.
10/How do you see the publishing industry changing over the next five years?
I think that electronic readers, (probably a sort of hybrid version of the Blackberry/I-Phone crossed with the Kindle/Sony Reader), will be starting to become the norm amongst people who read a lot. Authors will be published there first, then if their work finds an audience publishers will look for ways to develop the product, like creating attractively packaged books as gift items or collector items, thereby giving more people a chance to get published initially and letting the market decide who eventually succeeds in having their work presented in book form, while at the same time cutting out the wasteful system of big print-runs which end up being pulped.