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How to write a killer crime novel, by Val McDermid (who’s sold 15 million of her own)

marieclaire.co.uk – Tuesday September 25, 2018

For the first in our new Writers Bloc series, prolific crime writer Val McDermid tells Charlotte Philby the secret to writing 32 books in as many years

Val McDermid is the multi award-winning author of 32 crime novels, which have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and been translated into 40 languages. She is married to the professor Jo Sharp, and has a teenage son. McDermid divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh. Her latest novel Broken Ground is published by Little Brown (£18.99)

You’ve written 32 books in as many years with no signs of abating, and had your work adapted for TV. What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt about successfully drawing readers into the worlds you create?

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$400M Fiction Giant Wattpad Wants To Be Your Literary Agent

forbes.com – Monday September 24, 2018

It took a less than an hour in 2013 for Anna Todd to change her life. The Army wife and part-time babysitter had spent a lot of time reading fan fiction, stories by amateur writers about existing fictional universes and real-life celebrities. So her erotic tale about Tessa and Hardin—a wholesome college freshman and a tattooed bad boy who is a thinly veiled stand-in for singer Harry Styles—came together quickly when she sat down to type the first chapter of After on her phone. Todd posted it to Wattpad, one of the world’s largest destinations for online reading and writing.

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FutureBook teams with The Pigeonhole for writing competition

thebookseller.com – Friday September 21, 2018

FutureBook is partnering with social reading app The Pigeonhole to run a short story competition exploring the future of the book. The winning author is to be hosted at the FutureBook Conference, 30th November.

Judges will be Molly Flatt, author and associate editor of FutureBook; Anna Jean Hughes, founder of The Pigeonhole; and Tom Hunter, director of the Arthur C.Clarke Award for Science Fiction.

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The Writing Dead

nytimes.com – Friday September 21, 2018

The mystery novelist Reed Farrel Coleman was watching TV in May 2013 when his agent called and asked him, “How would you like to be Robert B. Parker?”

“It took me about a nanosecond to say yes,” Coleman wrote on his website. “We all dream about unexpected magical moments — chance encounters, phone calls, emails — that will transform us, but do we ever believe they will happen?”

These days, when a popular author dies, financially savvy heirs often commission someone to keep writing his or her books. (There’s even a term for this: “continuation literature.”) Sophie Hannah writes Agatha Christie novels; David Lagercrantz channels Stieg Larsson; Anthony Horowitz has taken on Ian Fleming. That’s what Robert B. Parker’s family decided to do when the crime novelist died in 2010. “Spenser was a cash cow,” Parker’s wife, Joan, told The Boston Globe in 2012, referring to her husband’s most beloved character, a Boston private eye. “And we felt that Bob would want to see Spenser live on.” In 2011, they hired Ace Atkins to write more Spenser novels, and in 2013 they asked Coleman to take on a different series, the one starring the Massachusetts cop Jesse Stone.

For Coleman, saying yes was the easy part. “It’s one thing to be offered to step into a great man’s shoes. It is quite another to stare at the blank screen and figure out what to do,” he says ruefully. So he called Atkins. “He gave me some tips on how my life was about to change,” Coleman says. “He suggested that I never go to the fan sites. Of course, that was the first thing I did.”

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11 Tips On Writing Horror From The Greats Of The Genre, Including Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson, And Tananarive Due

bustle.com – Friday September 21, 2018

As the autumn mists roll in, and prestige horror movies make their triumphant return to cinemas, it seems like the perfect time to settle in with your beloved word processor and your favorite hot beverage and write some ghost stories. But how does one make a piece of writing scary? Where's the line that turns a cheesy people-eating demon into the stuff of nightmares? How does a writer create a spine-tingling atmosphere of tension and fear while staring at a computer screen and eating cereal directly out of the box? Here are a few tips from the horror greats for writing creepy fiction (and quite possibly terrifying yourself in the process).

Of course, as with all writing, there is no one-size-fits-all method for crafting a great horror novel. You might be a person who is entirely unfazed by classic monster movies, and who rolls their eyes at creepy campfire tales. Or you might be someone (like me) who routinely has to hide their novelty clown-shaped pencil cup for fear that it will spontaneously come to life. Your fears and your writing methods are all your own. But no matter what your approach, these horror-writing tips will give you a few extra thoughts to mull over as your write your tales of terror:

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New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday September 19, 2018

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry; 
Areas include: Adventure; Biography; Crime; Fantasy; Historical; Nature; Politics; Romance; Science; Sci-Fi; Self-Help; Thrillers; 
Markets: Children's; Youth; 
Preferred styles: Commercial; Contemporary; Literary; Mainstream

Accepts submissions for science fiction and fantasy direct from authors. Submissions in all other areas must come via a literary agent.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agency Listing

firstwriter.com – Tuesday September 18, 2018

Handles: Fiction; Nonfiction
Areas: Autobiography; Biography; Business; Culture; Current Affairs; Health; Historical; Lifestyle; Psychology; Sociology; Sport; Technology; Women's Interests
Markets: Adult
Treatments: Literary

Send query by email only. Include "QUERY" in the subject line, and a one-page query letter, which identifies the category of your work, the title, the word count, and provides a brief overview of your project, credentials and previous publishing history, if any. Complete book proposals on request only.

[See the full listing]

New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Monday September 17, 2018

Publishes: Essays; Interviews; Nonfiction; Poetry; Reviews; 
Areas include: Literature; 
Markets: Adult; 
Preferred styles: Contemporary; Literary

Publishes poetry and literary prose. No previously published material. Send up to five poems or a piece of prose via online submission system ($3 charge) or by post with SASE. Accepts simultaneous submissions if notice of acceptance elsewhere is given. Six month response time.

[See the full listing]

Kaplan Stahler Agency Names Cindy Mintz Head of TV Literary

deadline.com – Saturday September 15, 2018

Kaplan Stahler’s Cindy Mintz has been named head of TV Literary at the boutique agency. In her new role, Mintz will oversee a department of five agents.

Mintz joined Kaplan Stahler in 2013 after a brief stint at Abrams Artists Agency, where she was instrumental in launching their TV literary department. Prior to Abrams, she spent 15 years as a TV packaging agent at ICM Partners.

[Read the full article]

Penguin Random House Is Building the Perfect Publishing House

newrepublic.com – Wednesday September 12, 2018

When Penguin and Random House announced in the fall of 2012 that they intended to merge, Hurricane Sandy was barreling toward New York City, America’s publishing capital. It was an instant metaphor for headline writers: “As Sandy Loomed, the Publishing Industry Panicked.” People inside both companies worried about their jobs; people outside the companies worried about the market power of a new conglomerate comprised of the country’s two largest trade publishers. Agents and authors, meanwhile, worried that the consolidation would further drive down advances.

Random House’s top brass insisted that there was no need to panic. “The continuity will far outweigh the change,” Markus Dohle, the CEO of what would become Penguin Random House, told The New York Times when the merger was completed the following summer. “We have the luxury to take the time before we make any strategic decisions. There is no need to rush.”

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