I was featured on the Bestseller Experiment Podcast.

First, how has it been three months since the last update? I’ve been busy…

I’ve been planning the next thing I’ll write and have some basic outlining completed. In parallel with that I’ve sent “The Fairies Want Me Dead” to beta readers and am now improving it based on their feedback. I will update you on that tomorrow. Today’s all about the novella ‘Jacob’s War’.

My last progress report described how I had a rough outline for a prequel novella - and that has now been more or less finished. I will discuss the process a little more in a later blog post, as I’ve learned a lot by doing it. Be sure to check back for that, as you will also see a sneak peek of the cover art!

In what I can only assume was a fit of madness I sent the first page in to a podcast I regularly listen to - The Bestseller Experiment. This show started a couple of years ago with two guys (also both called Mark) attempting to write, edit and publish a bestselling novel in just one year. They badgered a lot of amazing authors to come and offer guidance on how to achieve it, all of which they shared with their listeners. I trust it won’t be a dreadful spoiler to tell you they did it; their novel got a bestseller tag on Amazon. It’s great too, treat yourself to a perfect summer read!

That wasn’t the end of the podcast though. They still have authors on as guests offering advice and encouragement, but also editors, publishers, and anyone who might have useful information for the aspiring author. I absolutely encourage you to check it out.

One of their regular features is “One Page Punch-Ups” which features one or two editors looking at listener-sent writing. As the name suggests, they get the initial page of a manuscript and offer advice on how to make it better. It’s always very constructive, very informative, and it’s fascinating and helpful to see how an editor approaches someone’s work completely blind.

If you support the podcast on Patreon as I do you get certain perks. These include early access to episodes, invites to live shows on YouTube and the ability to submit your work for the “Punch-Up”. I did this for the recent episode, and was fortunate enough to feature alongside four other authors in a “Sci-Fi and Fantasy Special”, with Gillian Redfearn and Marcus Gipps from Gollancz.

I’m second up in the episode and they have some lovely things to say about my work. The advice they offered is extremely helpful, and already I can see it making a big difference to the impact of the first page. I believe I can also use it to punch up the rest of the book, making sure I maintain the reader’s attention throughout.

As a bonus, hearing mention of Neil Gaiman and Ben Aaronovitch alongside your own writing is hugely thrilling. No, they’re not comparing me to them, rather using them to make a point but if someone thinks of them when reading my work, I’m more than happy!

Check out the episode, give them a listen, and you’ll even get to hear the first page of my novella read out loud.

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