Thank you all for signing up to By the Letter and a warm welcome to this inaugural newletter (trumpets!), timed perfectly for the beginning of a new year. Let’s hope 2021 proves less ‘interesting’ than 2020.
No! I haven’t put on that much weight! This is about my decision late last year to distribute Guardians of the Forest on wider platforms. The ebooks can now easily be purchased in a variety of places, and at some stage I hope to make the paperbacks more widely available than Amazon also. And bear in mind that if you live in the UK, I have a handful of copies here which I’d be happy to post out. Go to the Paypal button on this page if you like that idea – signed! Free bookmark!
Querying agents and going it alone
Mine and co-author Emma Beach’s historical fiction novel about Elizabeth Scott – convicted of the murder of her husband in Australia in 1863 – is out looking for an agent or a publisher. We keep coming close, then something happens and it’s back to square one. And 2020 was not a good time to be querying. A shame, as our readers of the drafts have loved the book (and the opening chapter was shortlisted in a novel competition towards the end of last year, a good sign.).
Meanwhile, because I like to mix things up, I will be releasing Keepers, my second historical fiction novel, in early April. Keepers is also set in Australia, in 1950ish, and tells the tale of young lovers Raine and Teddy – and of Alf, Teddy’s best mate from their East End days and Raine’s not-so-secret admirer. Cover release and firm dates coming soon.
It seemed appropriate for a first newsletter to share a post I wrote last year about the value of belonging to a writing group. Dean Writers Circle continues to be a diverse and supportive community, as proven by the fact that people keep wanting to join us. Have a read here and see why that might be the case (and note that the only criterion for joining a writing group should be that you want to write, whether you have or not to that point).
WRITERS ARE READERS TOO (or should be)
How to Belong, Sarah Franklin
I’ve always had a book on the go and writing my own makes that even more important, to see what readers are liking these days and to be inspired. Over Christmas I caught up with a fair bit of reading, but the book that stood out was Sarah Franklin’s How to Belong. Set here in my own (and Sarah’s) beloved Forest, this story of two very different women finding their way, helped by each other, kept me thoroughly engaged from beginning to end. Read what I have to say about How to Belong.
A PIECE OF WRITING FOR YOU TO ENJOY
I like to share some of my stories, and parts of my novels, on my website. Given that Keepers is coming out soon, I hope the short extract here, exclusive to By the Letter subscribers, will begin to draw you into Raine and Teddy’s story.
Keep safe, keep reading, and it would be good to hear your thoughts on what you enjoyed here and what else you’d maybe like to see in By the Letter.
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