Frequently asked questions
How long did it take you to become a writer?
I’ve been a writer since my first awful attempts at poetry and the first short stories that invariably begun, ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ended, ‘They all Lived Happily Ever After’. If you love words and you write, you are a writer.
How long does it take you to write one book?
I spent two years on one book. That was too long for me, there was procrastination involved. Generally, it takes around 18 to 24 weeks, but that’s the first draft. Second drafts and editing make it a much longer process, closer to 18 months.
Do you have any advice about sending Agent query letters?
Write your query letter as if you were applying for a dream job. With care. But don’t oversell yourself. Agents won’t be interested in how much your friends loved your book and if you’re self-published with 5-star reviews, let them find out themselves. Always read the individual agent guidelines and adhere to them. Make your submission personal but concise. Don’t forget you’re applying for a dream writing job, spelling mistakes will fast track your query to the ‘slush pile’.
What do you think about self-publishing?
One of my favourite books of 2020 was self-published. The worst book I read was also self-published. Self-publishing is a legitimate route for the methodical writer, but it is not a short-cut. You need to possess editing as a superpower and have time (lots of it) to make sure every aspect of your book is professional. There’s more to it than picking the perfect cover.
How do you deal with rejections?
They get easier. Writing is a lonely business and being rejected can feel like a dismissal of everything you have achieved. It’s not. It’s one agent, one opinion. Don’t dwell on it. See it as one step closer to receiving a request for a full manuscript, which is one step closer to receiving an offer and that, my friends, is well worth the wait.
Do you have any tips on how to become a published/represented writer?
It takes hard work, an original voice, passion, energy, and determination
Believe in what you write and then edit, edit, edit.