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Debut author interviews

29 Seconds publication day: interview with TM Logan

Readers were gripped by TM Logan’s debut novel, Lies, keeping it in the Kindle top 10 for months. Now fans can finally read his second novel, 29 Seconds, out today in eBook. To celebrate, we’ve asked TM Logan to look back on how it all started, as well as give us a hint of what’s to come…

As of today, you’ve got two published novels under your belt. Where did each one start its life?

Most of my ideas come from everyday life – a conversation, a story on the news, a thought that turns into a ‘what if?’ question that might form the core of a plot.

With Lies, it was a conversation with my wife as we drove to Brittany for our summer holiday. She related a story about some friends of hers who had been raising money for charity in memory of a colleague who had died. As part of this, they had used the colleague’s Facebook profile to help publicise their efforts. That got me thinking: what if you did something similar but with criminal motives? Perhaps to cover up a crime? To mislead the police? To frame an innocent man?

For 29 Seconds, I had the original kernel of the idea some time ago, but had been searching for the right setting for the story. Then in the summer of 2016, in my previous job (as head of communications for a large university) I fielded an enquiry from The Guardian – a national investigation into the scale of sexual harassment in higher education, almost exclusively senior male academics harassing younger female colleagues or students. That got me thinking. When I read the story that came out of their investigation, I thought it might make a strong setting for a novel – if the victim was so desperate for a solution that she would resort to desperate measures. It’s been very weird to see it coincide with the ongoing international news story about harassment/#MeToo that has become so huge in recent months.

Now for the hard part – once you’ve had your idea, how do you get your novels finished?

I will spend 6-8 weeks planning a story, getting the plot, characters and key moments clear in my head (I’ve always been envious of people who can just sit down and write off the top of their head, seat of the pants style. I need a plan). My desk – in the spare bedroom – faces the wall so there’s nothing to distract me, no window, no view, no outside world. No TV, no radio. Nothing to tempt me away from sitting in that chair and putting my hands on the keyboard. The walls around my desk are generally covered with notes, chapter plans, lists, reminders and scraps of paper with ideas and quotes for the story I’m working on.

When I’ve got to the stage where I’m just procrastinating to put off the real business of writing, I’ll dive into it and write every day, without fail, until the first draft is done. Writing every day helps me to maintain momentum, to keep on top of the plot and stay in touch with my characters. I keep a tally of my daily wordcount, although it’s less about the number and more about making links in the chain and keeping that promise to myself. If I’ve written for 30, or 50, or 100 days straight, I’m less likely to take a day off and break the chain (at least that’s the idea).

Looking back on your own experiences, what advice would you give an author who’s just starting out?

Being a debut author made me realise how important it is to feed constructive criticism into the writing process. Both Lies and 29 Seconds were improved hugely with constructive input from others. It can be tricky, though: when you’re starting out you have to be so single-minded about writing, to keep going without any guarantee that your stories are ever going to see the light of day – you have to believe that they will find an audience eventually. You’ve got to believe in what you’re doing. But you can’t let that single-mindedness, that belief, deafen you to hearing constructive criticism. Essentially, you need to be proud of what you create, but humble enough to know that it can always be improved with input from friends, fellow authors, family members, reading groups – anybody who’s willing to be constructive. I’ve been lucky enough to work with my brilliant agent Camilla Wray at Darley Anderson and the excellent team at Bonnier Zaffre in that respect.

And finally, what can we expect to see from you in the future?

I’ve been writing full-time for a few months now and absolutely loving it! I’ve just agreed a new two-book deal with Bonnier Zaffre and I’m currently working on book 3 for them, which will come out in 2019. It’s a standalone thriller set in the south of France, where four best friends are holidaying together with their families. As the week goes on, their friendship starts to unravel amid secrets, betrayal and lies, until it becomes clear that someone in the group is prepared to kill to keep a long-buried truth from coming out…

For the future, I’ve always wanted to create a series and would love to be able to do that alongside my standalone thrillers. Watch this space!

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Newsletter

Agency Newsletter: July

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Martina Cole’s unstoppable success

It has been 25 years since Martina Cole’s debut novel

Dangerous Lady was published and in a career which has seen her break almost every publishing record there is – she holds more No.1 original bestsellers than any other author with each novel outselling the last – she’s still topping the charts.

The paperback edition of Betrayal, her twenty-third novel, has gone straight to No.1 not only in the paperback charts but in overall bestsellers chart, holding the spot for two weeks.

Martina’s next novel, Damaged, hails the return of DCI Kate Burrows who is featured in Hard Girls, Broken and The Ladykiller. It will be published in hardback in September this year.

Unmatched in talent and unstoppable in success – she is truly iconic and a true ‘one off’.

Amazon’s Bestsellers 2017

Three of our authors have made the Top 10 of Amazon’s most sold e-books of 2017 so far!

TM Logan’s Lies, Kerry Fisher’s The Silent Wife and BA Paris’ The Breakdown have been fixtures in the Kindle Top 20 since their release and this accolade reflects that fantastic success.

Congratulations to all!

BA Paris – a double NY Times bestseller

BA Paris has conquered the US, again – and with two books.

The Breakdown went straight to No.10 on the New York Times hardback charts and Behind Closed Doors, a hardback bestseller in 2016, shot to No.5 on the paperback charts.

BA Paris has enjoyed worldwide success with her debut novel Behind Closed Doors which, so far, has sold in 36 territories.

The Breakdown has also enjoyed great success, USA Today said ‘A story with a ratcheting sense of unease — a tale of friendship and love, sanity and the terrible unravelling of it.’. BA Paris’ next novel Bring Me Back will be out in February 2018 – we can’t wait.

Tana French wins

The No.2 New York Times bestselling author Tana French was awarded the 2017 Strand Magazine Critics Award for Best Novel for her book The Trespasser.

This marks Tana’s fifth best-novel nomination and her first win.

This year she was up against heavyweight authors such as Michael Connelly and Val McDermid.

Congratulations, Tana!

CWA Daggers 2017

We are thrilled that James Carol has been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger Steel Dagger 2017 for his heart-stopping thriller The Killing Game, published under his pseudonym J.S. Carol.

In The Killing Game, a masked man with a score to settle takes the Hollywood elite hostage – what does he want and why?

Winners will be announced at the Daggers Awards on 26th October.

Congratulations, James!

DA Children’s Agency

Kim Slater’s third outstanding novel has been longlisted for the Ealing Teen Read 2017. The award is voted for by schools in the area by pupils in years 8 and 9.

Congratulations Kim!

The annual Young Adults Literature Conference  saw three DA Children’s authors appear at events. Deirdre Sullivan, Dave Rudden and Olivia Levez took part in panels and workshops across the weekend.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Newsletter

Agency Newsletter: May

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You Don’t Know Me – a startling debut

A new and exciting voice in the crime and thriller world launched this month with a staggering debut novel.

Imran Mahmood’s You Don’t Know Me is a crime book with a difference: the story is told entirely in the form of a defence speech from a young black man, accused of murder. The reader becomes the jury as the unnamed defendant presents the eight pieces of evidence and only one thing matters – did he do it?

The audio book, narrated by Adam Deacon of Kidulthood, is the fastest selling audio book for Penguin Random House this year.

You Don’t Know Me has received stellar praise from many national newspapers including The Times and Imran was profiled in the Guardian. He also featured as a Simon Mayo book club selection on BBC Radio 2 and was on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.

Lee Child’s outstanding contribution

Lee Child will be awarded the OutstandingContribution to Crime Fiction Award at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival at Harrogate this year.

Simon Theakston, who runs the award said ‘Lee is very deserving of this accolade, and will have his rightful place in a pantheon of legendary crime authors who have achieved this honour to date.’

No Middle Name, a collection of all the Reacher stories, published together for the first time, has soared into No.3 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller chart and is No.2 in the UK!

Nobody does it better.

TM Logan – Top 10 for debut

TM Logan’s gripping debut, Lies, has spent 8 weeks in the Kindle Top 10 having previously reached No.1 on iBooks and No.2 on Kindle.

This month, Charlie Spicer at St. Martin’s Press acquired North American rights, he said: ‘Like B.A. Paris’s mega bestseller Behind Closed Doors, TM Logan creates an unforgettable novel of suspense out of a chilling human dilemma: what if you learned your wife was having an affair and you believe you are being set up to take the fall for a murder?’

CWA Daggers

We are delighted to announce that three of our authors have been nominated for a CWA Dagger Award 2017.

Tana French has beennominated for the CWA Dagger in the Library, which acknowledges the author’s entire body of work. Tana’s No.2 New York Times bestseller, The Trespasser, has also been selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club 2017.

Longlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award are Tim Weaver for his outstanding 7th novel, Broken Heart, and James Carol under his pseudonym JS Carol for the exciting thriller The Killing Game.

DA Children’s Authors Win

Two of our fantastic children’s authors have scooped prizes this month.

Deirdre Sullivan’s powerful and poetic novel Needlework has won the Honor Award for Fiction at the CBI Book of the Year Awards 2017.

Caroline Crowe’s heart-warming Pirates in Pyjamas was awarded Best Picture Book at the Heart of Hawick Children’s Book Awards!

Cathy Cassidy in the US

Papercutz, the largest comic book publisher in the US, has published the first adaptation of the internationally bestselling Chocolate Book Girls series by our beloved author, Cathy Cassidy.

Sweeties, the first in a planned series, combines books 1 and 2, Cherry Crush and Marshmallow Skye.

Cathy is published in 26 languages worldwide and her sales top 3 million copies.

 

 

 

Categories
Newsletter

Agency Newsletter: March

Yes, it’s true, there’s two! Here’s the March edition, you know what to do. Again, any trouble with the link to Agency Newsletter: March 2017, don’t worry, just scroll underneath the image for all the articles.

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Chris Carter is a No.1 UK Bestseller

It is an absolute pleasure to announce that Chris Carter’s The Caller is a No.1 UK Bestseller.

His eighth Robert Hunter serial killer thriller has beaten Joanna Trollope, Neil Gaiman and Katie Fforde to the top spot on the Sunday Times bestseller chart.

This is Chris’ first No.1, topping his personal best at No.5, and many of his previous titles in the series have been Top 10 UK Bestsellers. As well as having a loyal UK readership, Chris has also achieved huge international success. His titles have been translated into 17 languages and in Germany, one of the biggest book markets in the world, he is a consistent mega-seller.

Chris’ ability to write such convincing killer novels comes from his previous career as a criminal behaviour psychologist, where he interviewed and studied criminals including serial and multiple murderers serving life. In an article for the Mirror he said, ‘I interviewed killers who were as charming, funny and charismatic as a chat show host.’

Congratulations to such a hardworking author who truly deserves his success.

Gillian McAllister débuts at No.6

Gillian McAllister’s arresting début novel, Everything But The Truth, has soared into the charts becoming a No.6 Sunday Times bestseller.

Published by Michael Joseph on 6th March, Gillian scored lots of pre-publication reviews and has since had her novel reviewed in national magazines and press.

The buzz is rightly huge for this emotionally charged novel which makes you question the line between right and wrong.

DA authors dominate Kindle Bestsellers

The Agency has been riding high in the digital charts with three authors hitting the Top 5.

Kerry Fisher’s absorbing, The Silent Wife, went into No.2 on the Kindle bestseller chart and was also a No.1 iBooks and No.2 Kobo bestseller.

TM Logan’s gripping, LIES, scored a No.3 hit on both the Kindle and iBooks chart. And K.L. Slater’s page-turning, BLINK, went to No.2 on the Kindle chart.

At one time, DA Agency authors made up a quarter of the Top 20 with B.A. Paris’ The Breakdown and Martina Cole’s Dangerous Lady boosting the number to five.

Congratulations all!

Dangerous Lady continues to thrill

In Martina Cole’s 25th anniversary year, her very first novel, Dangerous Lady, has rocketed back into the bestseller chart.

The iconic novel launched Martina Cole’s phenomenal career and has been released as a special anniversary edition in hardback. Dangerous Lady also made a splash on the digital charts, reaching No.12!

We can say with great confidence that is just the beginning of a very special year for the undisputed Queen of Crime.

Needlework nominated

Deirdre Sullivan’s stunning YA novel, Needlework, has been nominated for a CBI Book of the Year Award 2017.

The CBI Book Awards are literary awards presented annually in the Republic of Ireland to writers and illustrators of books for children and young people. Previous winners include Eoin Colfer and John Boyne.

Congratulations, Deirdre!

A Seven-Letter Word wins

Kim Slater’s second Carnegie nominated novel, A Seven-Letter Word, has won the St Helen’s Libraries Book Awards (BASH) 2017.

The St Helen’s Book Award is a fantastic regional Book Award scheme for secondary school pupils, celebrating fiction for ages 11-18.

A huge congratulations to Kim!