Deceit: My Road to Publication by Casey King | Magazine | Crime | Interviews

By Casey King

After a brainstorming session with literary agent Kate Nash, the idea for a female-led gritty gangland thriller called Deceit, was born.

People will have no idea how close I came to giving up my dream of becoming a published writer when, in November 2018, after too many rejections to count, I had not one, not two, but three agents interested in representing me. A meet-the-agent slot that I had gotten through to at one of Ireland’s many literary festivals went incredibly well. I also met an agent at another event and we had arranged a further meeting. At the same time, I had managed to bag a one-to-one slot at the Kate Nash Literary Agency open day in Dublin. What I didn’t know was that after engaging the services of, my writing had garnered the attention of Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, who was in the process of scouting me to Kate Nash.

After reading my opening chapters, Kate quickly requested the full manuscript, and within a couple of weeks of our initial meeting, I was extremely happy to accept the offer of representation from Kate Nash of Kate Nash Literary Agency.

What I submitted to agents for consideration was the most polished version of a crime novel I could possibly present. With the help of Eamon at Clearview Fiction Editing it was in immaculate shape. My agent was extremely passionate about this novel and submitted it to a choice number of publishers. It was widely loved, it even made it to acquisitions – the final hurdle – of one of the top five publishers, however it was also widely rejected. Publishers didn’t want to take the chance on the particular subject matter. However, what this novel did do for me was garner interest and publishers were keen to see what else I was working on. I did have another book, a thriller set in Dingle on the Wild Atlantic Way, but the timing wasn’t right for this to go on submission. It was safe to say that, at this stage, my agent knew my versatility as a writer, and we set a meeting to discuss the next steps to best move my writing career forward.

After a brainstorming session with Kate, the idea for a female-led gritty gangland thriller called Deceit, was born. The main character, Danielle Lewis, came to life quite vividly. She falls in love, then it all falls apart. Ten years previous to the setting of Deceit, Danielle Lewis‘ relationship with Jason Flynn helped to bring together their warring Dublin crime families. It should have been a joyous union, until someone tried to kill her. Danielle survives the shooting but loses her unborn son. She can’t prove it, but she knows the attack is an attempt to bring down her new family. Then Jason cheats on her, just when she needs him most. She leaves Dublin and her family behind. Now a decade on, her homecoming threatens the uneasy truce that exists between Dublin’s biggest crime families.

As part of Danielle’s backstory, I gave her an unimaginable loss. As anyone who has been touched by grief knows it does not discriminate. It is also a unique loss that both Danielle and another character, Detective Saoirse Kelly, share because of the attempt of Danielle’s life. When Saoirse persuades Danielle to return to Dublin, telling her that evidence exists which could give them both answers, because of their bond, Danielle trusts Saoirse. Danielle just wants to keep her head down, find this evidence and get answers as to who ordered the hit on her. But, of course, that is thrown into disarray by her reactions and responses to situations.

Placing this story in Ireland’s capital gave me a range of locations to choose as settings. I wanted to give the feeling that Dublin and Ireland are also characters in Deceit. Dublin has the busy hardworking people going about their daily business. Then there is the criminal underworld, which acts as almost a subworld, a sub-city, hovering beneath the one you or I may see. In the criminal world there are no boundaries and so while there are offices and residents for ordinary decent people, there are also areas where criminality occurs.

On presenting the final draft of Deceit to my agent, she immediately had editors in mind who she knew would love it. Emma Grundy Haigh at Joffe Books did love it. Kate has always had my back and after so many rejections the contract was actually on the table before I got the news.

I was absolutely thrilled to have my debut novel published by Joffe Books. I had met Jasper Joffe at an event a few years’ previously and his enthusiasm for his authors and their success was clearly evident. I was offered a two-book deal from Joffe Books, and my editor there, Emma, has been very enthusiastic to hear where I’m taking Danielle in the next book.

This next book, called Exposed, will be published on the 14th of December 2023, and is set a few weeks after the ending to Deceit. The reader will quickly see what has been happening in Danielle’s world. There are elements from Deceit that continue to create waves in the criminal world, revealing just how dangerous that world is. A new appearance in this novel is one of the most ruthless Flynn brothers, Dwayne, whose presence endangers Danielle’s life further. His actions force her to make decisions that could cost her dearly and to lose those she has grown to love and trust.

I’m in the final year of my Masters in Wellbeing from U.C.C. and have a keen interest in writers’ wellbeing as they navigate this winding road to publication. As my own writing journey continues, I attend courses, events, book launches, I’m a professional member of the Irish Writers’ Centre, a member of the Irish Writers’ Union and I have an incredible network of peer support. I can safely say that 2023 me is so glad that 2018 me kept writing and did not give up the dream of becoming a published writer.

(c) Casey King

About Deceit:

It’s a story as old as time. Girl meets boy. They fall in love. Then it all falls apart.

Ten years ago Danielle Lewis marries Jason Flynn to bring together their warring Dublin crime families. It should be a joyous union.

But then someone tries to kill her.

Danielle survives the shooting but loses her unborn son. She can’t prove it, but she knows the attack is an attempt to bring down her new family.

Then Jason cheats on her, just when she needs him most.

She leaves Dublin and her family behind.


But her homecoming threatens the uneasy truce that has existed between Dublin’s biggest crime families ever since she left.

Danielle will do whatever it takes to find out who tried to kill her — but is she ready for the truth?

Fans of Kerry Kaya, Kimberley Chambers, Emmy Ellis, Emma Tallon, Caz Finlay and Martina Cole, get ready for the first novel in an explosive new gangland crime series packed with twists, turns and deceit.

Order your copy online here.

About the author

Casey King is a crime writer from Co. Cork. She is represented by London agent, Kate Nash, of Kate Nash Literary Agency. Among her qualifications, Casey has a Diploma in Policing Studies and over twenty years’ experience in the Irish Police Force. Casey was recently listed in The Bookseller Magazine’s Agent Hotlist for London Book Fair. As a poet, Casey has twice judged Kanturk Arts Festival Poetry Slam and has had two poems commended in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition. She has been the featured poet at an event for former Fulbright Professor of Poetry, Bradley Strahan, and has read at Limerick’s Hunt Museum, and her poetry is published in several anthologies. As a playwright, Casey co-wrote the commercially staged play Catching the Train, and most recently had one of her plays longlisted in 2019 Wexford Literary Festival’s Billy Roche International Short Play Award. Her short stories have been published in The Holly Bough, Ireland’s Own and The Incubator Journal.

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