Hello Howard, thank you for joining us. First, could you tell us about your route to publication?
It’s such a complicated route for most writers that sometimes I feel like I need a sat-nav to get there. I self-published my first book and was fortunate that Micah Seven Five was picked up by a great little independent press, Inspired Quill. It’s really tough without an agent and finding an agent is really tough because most publishers won’t even look at submissions unless they’re from an agent. It’s like trying to break into a very closed shop. I have so many emails being very positive about my writing but saying they’re just not in a position to take things forward. So each book needs to be pitched from scratch, which is both time-consuming and, at times, a bit soul-destroying especially when the emails come back so quickly, you just know they’ve not even been read. Hopefully, somebody will pick up the new one; we’ll see. So the answer is there’s no easy route – you have to just keep banging on doors.
If you were told you could only own three books, which three would you pick?
Empire Of The Sun by JG Ballard, The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom and Charlie & The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Are you much of a planner and do you edit as you go?
I’ve tried being very planned and very unplanned and my favourite way of working is somewhere between the two. I like to have a general route map of where I’m going and how I’m going to get there but then I like the freedom to change as I write or to move off into slightly unforeseen directions. I tend to write everything and then go back and edit quite severely afterwards. I usually do two or three redrafts.by