Yesterday, far from being Black Friday, shall go down in my personal history as FABULOUS FRIDAY.
I got to meet the legendary Darley Anderson himself and discuss exciting new Adult Crime projects with my agent, the wonderful Clare Wallace.
A highlight was being ferried, in Darley’s chauffeur-driven Mercedes, to our lunch venue where Darley joined us for drinks. He is the nicest, most knowledgeable man and I felt absolutely privileged to spend over an hour with him, soaking up his pearls of wisdom and wonderful anecdotes collected from his many glittering years in the literary world.
Darley’s advice includes:
• Character is everything. He cited a Lee Child quote: Everyone remembers the Lone Ranger but nobody remembers the Lone Ranger’s story.
• Stick to what you do well. When a reader enjoys a book, they will go for the next one and be disappointed if it is very different to the first. The most successful authors know their readers and what they want…and they carry on writing it. Of course, as Darley sagely pointed out, the challenge lies in FINDING the thing you are good at, that pot of gold that millions want to read!
Darley then left for another engagement and Clare and I had a VERY long lunch meeting. We had a brilliant time, talked for England and I’m absolutely delighted that the decision is made that I will write Adult crime as well as Young Adult fiction.
SMART, my YA debut is already written and will be published by Macmillan (UK) and DTV (Germany) in 2013/14. My debut Crime novel is a psychological suspense thriller called Safe with Me. I have always written adult crime, particularly psychological suspense, up until writing SMART. Safe with Me started off life as a 12,000 word dissertation for my English & Creative Writing degree. I will be looking at it with fresh eyes and developing it into a full-length novel of around 80,000 words.
Words cannot express my excitement about working with Clare and expanding into Adult Crime at this early stage in my writing career. I will be writing under a different or amended name for my crime books, to clearly distinguish between my YA work. Trouble is, at the moment, I’m thinking more about possible pen names than the first draft of Safe with Me!
So, looks like the television is back to being off every weekday evening…thank goodness I’m a Celebrity Get me out of Here! is nearly finished as this could have caused a serious clash of interests.
Today, as I collected my award at my MA Creative Writing graduation ceremony, I felt truly thankful for the amazing developments in my writing career over the last six months. Best of all, my loving and supportive family were there to see me graduate.