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Do you ever get to work with cover designers over the concepts? The lone tree on the cover of Written in Bones is pretty much exactly as I described my idea to my editor.

What implications might this have for the future of publishing? I think most publishers would admit that they have only a vague idea of what readers want. It costs a lot of money to bring a book to market, so they tend to follow the herd a bit. Then something slightly different comes along and is successful so everybody wants that, until the market gets saturated again, and we move on. Vast sums get paid for an untried author, and many of the books are very good, but the downside is that established authors are losing out on marketing spend, getting smaller and smaller advances, and then not being picked up at all.

Not so long ago, a publisher would work with an author over six or eight books, establishing a name and a brand, and both would reap the reward over the long term.

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What have you learned about the industry that you think is important for new writers to know if they want a career in writing fiction? That there is no such thing as a career in writing fiction. All you can do is write the best book you can, and then another one, and another. What tips do you have for getting an agent and getting a publisher? Or do you think new writers would be better off self-publishing and building their own audience?

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Self-publishing well is hard work. You have to be the writer, the editor, the cover designer, the publicist, the marketer, and more.

Or you have to pay others to do those things for you, in which case you have to be a good manager. Increasingly though, self-publishing seems to be the first thought for a lot of people, and at the risk of sounding a bit dismissive and precious, many self-published books are awful. Spend money on a good cover design and as much professional editing as you can afford. And pick up books — look at them, see how they are formatted, what fonts are used, basic stuff like that.

My agent has to love the book in order to champion it to publishers, and likewise any editor has to love the book in order to champion it within the company. Nothing else really matters. Having done some of your own marketing and been part of the marketing efforts of larger publishers too, what tips, tricks or techniques have you picked up that you could pass on to others? Some publicity, yes, and that can be a huge boost. Never underestimate the power of local press and radio! It helps to make a story out of your story, so to speak. I have an unusual background for a crime writer in that my day job is livestock farming, but everyone has a unique tale to tell about themselves.

Use that to build up a story around yourself — call it spin if you must — and get on to your local press about it. What is the single most important tip or piece of advice you would give to a new writer starting out today who wants to write fiction? You can be a writer easily.


Just write something. You have control over that, and so that is what you should focus on. Write the stories you like to write, and keep at it. Resist the temptation to go back and edit stuff. Read part one of my interview with James Oswald here. Read part two here. And please leave a comment below if you have something to say!

Check out his newsletter. Last month, this involved tracking down the mysterious killer that was picking off his sheep one by one, like something from an Alien movie… Check out the newsletter for true farm stories like this. Read my author analysis of his fantasy novel Dreamwalker ….

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In fact, if there is a secret to her success, this might be it. Finding the right readers who love your work — and then hugging them close:. I was too worried that outlining would take away the creative process. But, man, it would take me forever to write one book. Read on for more great productivity tips.

As well as how Candace does research, and the writing and editing process that enables her to write four whole books per year…. I have a great editor, cover designer, and an amazing readership. So, self-publishing just works for me. I love Romance, but prefer to play with other genres, working them in when and where I can. I mostly write for myself. It appeals to imaginations and the kid in all of us, but also provides that element of Romance that most adults crave. I feel like they want relatable characters that are strong, smart, and driven.


Awww thank you! I feel like the relationships in our every day lives really fuel the decisions we make, the people we become, and paths we take. I have very strong bonds with the people in my life and I try to use that in my writing where I can. I love deeply so, naturally, my characters do, too. Haha I get asked that a lot. I live in the beautiful province of Newfoundland where our history of piracy goes back hundreds of years. We played home to some of the most infamous pirates that ever existed.

Aside from that, we also have a culture heavy in mythology that comes over from Scotland and Ireland. Faeries, witches, you name it. And, I suppose, coming from a family with writers and artists throughout, it just come naturally. Gillian Flynn is one of my all-time favourite authors.

Now, I know she writes Thriller, but I devour every word she writes. She has this way of weaving a sense of dread into every page and pushing comfort zones. I adore that. Holly Black is, in my opinion, the Faerie Queen. She writes about the Faerie world as if she actually lives in it and I eat up everything she does.

The use of visual impact with her writing is creative genius. And, lastly, my husband. He hates it when I brag about him, but Corey is one heck of a graphic designer, illustrator, and writer. He does my covers which is basically the face of everything I do. It all started with a short story I wrote about a woman who lost her husband. Now, I also write screenplays in other genres. I love it. Filming starts in August I have a strict schedule of freelancing all day and writing for myself all night.

Anywhere from hours per day.

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Depends how I feel, what I have on my plate, if both my kids are home from school, etc. I try and plan it out with word count goals. Now, that could be words in the morning, and after supper, and then another before bed. I love our history the good and the bad. I feel that when you anchor a story with something real, whether it be Contemporary Romance or High Fantasy, it helps the reader sink further into the book.

I often write from my own personal thoughts, feelings, experiences, etc.