Writing has always been how I relax, even if the subject matter is far from peaceful – I am drawn to thrillers and crime sagas that reel me in and keep me hooked!
2020 is the year we’ll remember for the pandemic, for home-schooling, and waiting for the daily updates with bated breath. Completing my book during lockdown, despite the book’s dark elements, felt like I was doing something positive; having a goal was a great distraction from the daily Covid news headlines.
When I decided to seriously pursue a publishing contract I began to follow authors online and research all that was available to me from the confines of lockdown. This led me to The Inkwell Group. I was impressed by the list of authors the group has helped and I decided to book a consultation with Vanessa. Through her feedback and critique, I realised my novel needed tweaking – my main character needed to be more realistic, with changes to her backstory – but Vanessa was so positive and kind in her recommendations, it didn’t feel like a big task.
It took about another month to polish it, and then I put it aside. All my research led me to the idea of putting your manuscript aside for a few weeks and then coming back to it, to reread it and find areas you need to change. In the meantime, I did a Write Here Write Now writing challenge with Writing.ie, and gained more knowledge of character, dialogue, and other facets of a story that grab the reader. That week was invaluable; I’ve completed a second one and look forward to more. To connect with other writers was a wonderful experience; even noting the feedback given and received was such a learning curve. I also made sure to tune in to The Writing Game where such valuable tips and insights were offered, such as how to construct your query letter and how to choose the right publisher or agent for your work.
With all I had learned, when I came back to my book, I made some major changes. I swapped the title of the book for something I felt was stronger, lost two characters, and added a new one. I loved the writing process so much it was no hardship to keep tinkering with my very first book. In fact, if the publisher hadn’t given me a deadline I would still be doing that!
Then came the task for finding a home for what was now called Blinding Lies.
My research led me to Poolbeg Press. Of course, I had heard of Poolbeg; many of my favourite authors are published with them. I said to my husband that I really wanted to work with Poolbeg; I followed their submission process to the letter, sending the first three chapters and synopsis of my manuscript in the post. Two weeks later Paula Campbell emailed me and requested the full manuscript. Two months after that, Paula emailed me again and offered a three book deal.
Working on the book through lockdown was certainly challenging, especially with home-schooling. I was writing in the evenings and snatching hours here and there, but luckily I was at the revision stage at that point. I really enjoyed the writing process. If I was stuck on a plot point I just gave it a day or two and the idea formed and the issue resolved itself. Book two and three continue the story of the main characters, and I love that – I have got to know them and want to see it to a conclusion.
Having loved reading all my life, it’s very exciting to be in a position to offer my own writing to readers. I am still writing at the kitchen table, to a deadline now, and have enjoyed every minute so far. I urge any aspiring writers to research their target market and to use the available resources within the writing community. There is such kindness and enthusiasm here, and so much insight into the industry to be gained.
(c) Amy Cronin
About Blinding Lies:
In a web of lies, who can you trust?
Ten years ago, Anna Clarke’s parents disappeared. The mystery haunts her, and she hopes her job in a busy city Garda Station will one day help her find answers.
The case of a man shot dead crosses her desk – and Anna is shocked to discover that the main suspect is her childhood friend Kate Crowley. Certain that Kate is innocent, Anna is determined to help her clear her name. But first she has to find her …
Tom Gallagher’s son David is dead, and Tom believes Kate is responsible. Now his older son John is missing – unable to grieve for one son until he finds the other, desperation can cause a man to do terrible things … Then the German Meier brothers descend on the city, intent on finding an item David had offered to sell them. Even Tom doesn’t know where it is, but he suspects Kate Crowley must have taken it.
Kate is on the run. She is trapped in the dead man’s city – can her old friend help her find a way out?
In a week where a political summit is taking place and the city is on high alert, Kate must struggle to stay hidden and stay alive. And Anna is drawn into the twisted race against time, falling deeper into danger.
Order your copy online here.