Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pitch Across the Pond

Look where I'm going to be on the 13th April! Just before the London Book Fair, check it out!
Pitch your novel across the Pond and Beyond
Oxford Author Courses tell you how to do it

You've written your novel, and you want to sell it into the biggest and most prestigious markets in the world. But you don't know how to begin, or what to do. Attend Oxford Author Courses' day-long crash course, Pitch Across the Pond and Beyond, at St. Hilda's College, Oxford on 13th April and you'll come away knowing exactly what you should do.

You'll hear from a very savvy and highly successful US agent who'll tell you what's hot and what's not.  Christine Witthohn is founder of Book Cents Agency, which she started in 2006. Her approach is simple: she loves a great story, but more importantly wants to be the one to sell it. She represents both published and unpublished authors.

Stéphane Marsan, founder of successful, independent French publisher, Bragelonne will talk about the kind of books that have made his company such a force within the French publishing industry. Fresh from the Paris Book Fair (held late March) he's actively looking for books in romance, horror, fantasy and young adult genres. Come and hear what he's looking for now and how to submit your novel to his company -  and don't worry, Bragelonne do the translation!

Lynne Connolly is a British author who sells almost exclusively to the American market. She writes sexy, sophisticated romance in contemporary, historical and paranormal genres. Lynne writes mainly for digital-first publishers in the USA. It was her agent who suggested she try America when her first book was turned down in England. She it to the USA, it was accepted and she's never looked back. She'll tell you how she made herself successful in America with tips and hints of how to approach this biggest and richest of all English speaking markets.

Other bestselling British authors, who specialise in pitching, selling and marketing their work abroad, will tell you their secrets: how they do it - and continue to do it.

What works for other countries?
Writing for different cultures and countries means looking at your work differently. Phrasing and spelling may be different and the words themselves can have another meaning in an overseas market.

The cover artwork and blurb are vitally important, as is the book description. The cultural differences mean that you have to choose your words and images carefully - what might work in the UK won't necessarily work elsewhere.

On this one-day crash course, an editor who spends most of the time working with US authors and publishers will give you good writing and editorial advice on how to avoid the pitfalls.

Do you write thrillers, romance, historicals, horror, fantasy? Is your book a tense conspiracy thrilller like Flowertown (agented by Christine), a steamy sensuous paranormal (Stèphane loves paranormals and urban fantasy), or a mysterious nineteen-thirties historical? Come and learn which genres, locations and periods have international appeal.
Which way to go - traditional, independent or self-publish?
Publishing is changing, so how do you choose which route is best for you? Do you go traditional, independent, e-press or self-publish? What works best where? We'll put the facts before you and help you decide.

Good news: both Christine and Stéphane work with self published authors.

It's our aim to give you a fact packed day and send you away buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm for venturing away from the UK's shores and into larger, more profitable markets. Broaden your horizons for just £120* with Oxford Author Courses Pitch Across the Pond and Beyond day.     

For more details and booking form go to

*Discount available for writers' groups as detailed on the website.

For further information please contact:

Maggi Fox
Press Officer
Oxford Author Courses
07770 75481

            Of course writing for different cultures means that words mean different things and the panel of experts advise on how to avoid pitfalls and provide the best manuscript that you can for the overseas audience that you're targeting.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The biggest party in Europe

"Vanessa" is the first book I had published. Not the first accepted for publication, but it beat the publication of "Yorkshire" by a month or two. It was with a different publisher, one of the good guys of the early days, Awe-Struck. With the original publishers sold up to another, "Vanessa" became less important to them and eventually I thought I'd like to see how it did if I gussied it up a bit and put it out again.
So this is in the nature of a relaunch.
It's a book I loved every minute of writing. I fell for my hero and heroine, so much that it was hard to give them conflicts, but conflicts they must have, and they rose above them together.
I became fascinated by the Congress of Vienna. It was one huge party, held from the first fall of Napoleon through to Waterloo and then it recommenced afterward. It was to organize Europe after Napoleon had made a mess of it, but being held in Vienna, all the great and good and not-so-good flocked there.
Into this arrived Chris, Lord Vesey, and his new wife Vanessa. Chris is a diplomat, and Vanessa is the woman he married because, she thinks, he has decided that she'll make a good political wife. But there's so much more than that. Chris also does a little spying work for his country, as diplomats sometimes did, and this leads them into very dark waters indeed.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the revitalised version as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Here's the description:

First love, or last?

In the fateful year of 1815 Vanessa, the new Lady Vesey, accompanies her diplomat husband Christopher to the Congress of Vienna. Newly married and trying to forget her previous life, Vanessa is confronted by her lost love, Emery Graham. Unsure of her feelings for her husband, or his for her, will Vanessa decide to throw in her lot with Emery or stay with Chris?
Thrown into a desperate mission to save the life of the man she loves, Vanessa has to face her deepest fears.

There's an excerpt here.
And the Amazon Kindle page is here.

Monday, March 11, 2013

March news!

So far, so very interesting!
March has crested the horizon, leaving February, and with any luck the snow, behind. It’s really cold over here, but I’m keeping busy planning my trip to the US in April. I’m so looking forward to it! As well as the fun of the RT Convention, I’m visiting Washington, DC and friends in Texas, including the totes amaze Kathryn Falk, who owns RT.
Can’t wait, but in the meantime, I’m getting busy with books. I’ve had another release, ‘Brutally Beautiful,’ the story I was asked to write! When I wrote ‘Stripped Bare,’ I introduced a character called Mick O’Donnell, a brutal gang lord from Liverpool. I never thought anyone but me would be interested in the shaved bald, muscle-shirt and bling-wearing Mick, but boy, was I wrong! So when I decided to write his story, encouraged by the letters I was getting and my editor, I had a problem. How do I make Mick, who runs girls and drugs into Liverpool, into a romance hero?
Simple; make him a poetry professor. So how does a man go from being a ruthless gang leader into a poetry professor? When the East Europeans muscle in on his territory, Mick knows more than his business is in danger, so he liquidates his assets, changes his name and moves to New York, where he hopes they won’t find him.
Of course he finds the love of his life and trouble waiting for him, but only when he’s close to achieving his goal—to become a legitimate US citizen.
There’s only one more book to write in the Symbiotics series, and as usual at the end of a series, I’m sad. I don’t like saying goodbye to characters, but I also don’t like to drag a series on and on when it seems to have come to an end. Some series, like Dept 57, are planned to continue, so that the Department is a world rather than an end in itself. Some are more finite, like Pure Wildfire or Nightstar, but others have possibilities I’ve only just begun to explore.
I’ve also released a backlist book on Amazon. “Laura,” a Regency romance. I loved writing this book, and I’ve gained a lovely review on Amazon. I’ve learned from my self-published friends that to do really well on Amazon I need reviews. I’ve never really bothered asking for them before, but I’d really like to see “Laura” and the other self-published books do really well. So if you’ve read a book and you like it, and you’re in the mood, a review on Amazon would be much appreciated! Do you read self-published books? Do you enjoy them?
I’m glad I don’t have to go completely indie, as some of my brave friends have done. Making the decisions on a number of selected titles is really exciting, and it gives me a chance to spread my wings and try something a bit different, but I’m not sure I’d like to do it all the time.
Brutally Beautiful
Nick Taylor, poetry lecturer, used to be Mick O’Donnell, British gang leader. In search of a new life he’s come to New York, and five years later, he’s nearly there. Once he has his citizenship, he can start again. He’s kept clear of trouble, under the radar except for his visits to burlesque club Bared, and it’s there he meets his nemesis. Beautiful, classy, irresistible. Trouble.

Gen has a dead-end job checking citizenship applications but when her boss asks her to check Nick’s credentials she finds herself doing a lot more than that. The burlesque club is just the start. Nick is unlike any professor she’s ever met. They can’t keep their hands off each other, for one thing, even in the university library. Much less in the all-glass room in his apartment. With the rest of New York watching. Maybe. Nick teases her with the total exposure she secretly craves, while always keeping her safe.

But although Nick has left his past behind, he needs to draw on all his resources when Gen finds herself in deep unexpected and deadly trouble. He has to reach out to people he wanted to leave behind. It may end his attempt at a clean start, but if he doesn’t risk all he’s worked for, and perhaps expose himself to the deadly menace still hunting him down after five years, the woman he's grown to love and everything he wants to share with her will die.
eBook ISBN · 978-1-61118-960-5
Publisher ·Loose-Id Publishing
Genre · Contemporary Erotic Romance
Length · Novel

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

RT Booklovers' Convention

It's coming! Every year I venture across the Atlantic for RT Booklovers' Convention. Every year it's somewhere different, so that means I get a chance to see another part of the beautiful country that is the USA. I never, ever dreamed I'd get an opportunity like that. A published author, meeting some of my idols, and to visit places like San Francisco and New York!
I love my visits very much and best of all I've met some wonderful people, some of whom have become dear friends. My life would be much emptier without them. So shout-out to Monica, Desiree, Kathryn and so many others!
This year I'm planning a series set in Washington, DC, so I'm hieing there beforehand to see the capital.
RT itself is in Kansas City, and I'm kicking off the Convention with Kathryn Falk, an honor I'm a bit nervous about, but determined to do my best. So if you're brand new to the convention, come and see us - or even if you want some tips about how to get the best out of it.
There are a slew of activities going on in the few days before. A tour of Kansas City, a Boot Camp (where I've been asked to teach a class), a blogger convention and Kathryn Falk, Lady of Barrow, and I are holding a reception for the international visitors on the Tuesday, after 5 pm (if you're coming from abroad, please come to the reception!)
The Expo is different this year, too. Starting as a signing and a meet the author opportunity for digitally published authors, it's morphed into a much more ambitious venture. And now, for the first time, it's going international! You don't have to physically be there to attend!
The details are here: