This month’s showcase author is Neamat Imam
“I can’t think of many contemporary novels that have an ambitious canvas, that make political, social commentary, but also touch your heart because they are written with compassion, experience, wisdom and psychological depth.” Kavita Bhanot, TLC Reader
‘TLC’s editorial advice was outstanding, as was their support through the traditional publishing environment,
out in to self-publishing which seemed the best place for my hybrid memoir/ inspirational business book ‘All you Need is Love.’ My story ended up being featured on Amazon’s Gateway. One thing is very clear, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity to make my book work without the advice and support of TLC’
Pete Smith, All you Need is Love
I guess like everyone else writing a book I experienced those mood swings from ‘this is hopeless’ to ‘I think this could be really interesting’. Most of that you simply have to deal with on your own; maybe get some help from a writer’s group along the way. However, there comes a point when you need to know how good your work is. That point will vary from writer to writer, but there is a moment when you know you need a professional insight: a proper, independent professional assessment. That was how I first came across TLC. It was late on in the writing process. I knew I was walking a tightrope between different types of book, and that it fell between various genre stools. The initial support and advice I got from TLC was outstanding. Firstly, the TLC reader Karl French, immediately grasped the problem I had been struggling with and articulated it far better than I could. He explained that the publishing industry tends to think in terms of genres, and doesn’t really have a way of looking at books that don’t fall neatly in to one or another. He said that this attitude to genre applied in general to agents as much as to publishers. He then gave a huge amount of advice about the content and structure of the book, but was also incredibly supportive as to its underlying merit.
Karl and Rebecca Swift, Director of TLC, made it clear that although they couldn’t see a clear road to publication for what was an unusual book, they were nonetheless willing to help and advise me in the process as they liked the work. Rebecca offered excellent advice on how to target particular agents and the sort of cover letter that might work, but before long I think we both knew that Karl’s original assessment was spot-on: agents were looking for specific types of book and this didn’t fit. So self-publishing loomed as an option, and as soon as you look at that road the Amazon products Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing stand out. Rebecca pushed me hard to get the book professionally copy-edited; something I was initially reluctant to do – partly because of the cost, but more due to the emotional side. It felt as if I was drifting towards vanity publishing and I wanted to be published. It was difficult because self-publishing was not my original goal. In the end I took Rebecca’s advice on getting it copy-edited and proofread, and was stunned at the result. My basic English is fairly good, but there was hardly a paragraph that wasn’t marked up by the copy-editor. Ouch!
My relationship with Amazon developed and I found myself being featured in their homepage Gateway. I am delighted. One think is clear I wouldn’t have had this opportunity without the advice and support of TLC. You can work out what you think for yourself here.
TLC is delighted for Andrew James, who had his novel, Blood of Kings published by Michael Joseph (Penguin) in April, 2013. Andrew’s historical novel explores the grandeur of the Persian Empire and takes the reader on a journey from the imperial cities of Ancient Persia to the burning heart of Pharaoh’s Egypt.
Andrew came through TLC and received an assessment from Frankie Bailey. Andrew writes, “Getting published requires a lot of patience and hard work, but expert advice is essential too, where TLC comes in. In the early days particularly Frankie Bailey was a great help and encouragement. Thanks!”
To write Blood of Kings, Andrew James spent three years living in Siwa Oasis, in Egypt’s Western desert. Andrew feels that writing in the location where much of the history actually unfolded, helped contribute a great sense of time and place to the novel. Occasionally this went further than planned. “Just as I was creating a scene with soldiers manning barricades and masked youths throwing stones in Egypt’s 5th Century revolt against Cambyses, Egypt rose in revolt again, “ Andrew recalled. “It was an astonishing parallel.”
The novel is written from a Persian viewpoint and charts the rise of Darius the Great, against a backdrop of Persia’s 525 BC invasion of Egypt, and the cataclysmic destruction in a sandstorm of the army Cambyses sent to destroy the Oracle of Ammon. He hopes the novel will appeal not only to fans of blood-and-guts ancient warfare, but also to lovers of Greek historian Herodotus, whose characters he worked hard to bring to life.
Click here to find out more about the novel and the writer.
Key note speaker at this year’s Literary Conference, Audrey Niffenegger, shares her latest projects, ideas and ingenious management of her own novels into ebooks in an interview with Free Word.
Only a few weeks before she kick starts our conference in June, Audrey’s latest project, a ballet adaptation of her story The Raven Girl, opens at the Royal Opera House on the 24th May. Click here to read the full interview with Audrey.
TLC is looking forward to hearing more from here at our conference on the 7-8th June. Click here to find out more about the conference.
“The feedback from TLC, although initially a bitter pill to swallow for an insecure first-time writer, has been invaluable in getting it to this point.”
Band-Aid for a Broken Leg is a compassionate, deeply honest and often humorous account of life on the medical frontline in Angola, Mozambique and South Sudan…
This month’s showcase author is Julia Ross
“My mentor was well chosen by TLC and proved invaluable in helping me to see, very early on in the process, that the structure I was trying to use was actually handicapping me. Once had accepted her advice and freed myself from that structure, there was no stopping me.”
The Literary Consultancy (TLC) is proud to announce the much-anticipated return of its cutting-edge conference for writers working at all levels. TLC in collaboration with Amphora Arts has again assembled a wide range of industry-leading partners including the Society for Editors & Proofreaders, The Literary Platform’s forthcoming Writing Platform, the Alliance of Independent Authors, Book Hackday, Contentment’s new e-book conversion platform BookFlower and the Free Word Centre. The overriding theme of this year’s conference is ‘quality in a digital age’ – and how authors can make the latest tools, platforms and opportunities available work for them.
Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the Early Bird offer of 20% if you book before March 31st, and the opportunity to take part in Audience Story-time and the Pen Factor Writing Competition run this year in association with Bookhack Day.
“TLC is a sharp observer of contemporary writing in Britain today, and this annual conference represents the cutting-edge: incisive, probing – with a hint of danger. It’s a great thrill to be involved.”
– Robert McCrum, The Observer
This month’s showcase author is Sarah Butler
“It was so useful to have a fresh pair of eyes on the novel and the process of thinking through Evie Wyld’s advice and deciding what I wanted to change, and what I didn’t, was a hugely valuable one that strengthened my understanding of the novel and what I wanted it to be.”
This month’s showcase author is Pete Smith
“[T]he first response from TLC was critical for me. All first writers must fear the worst, and here was I submitting a book to TLC which I wasn’t sure they’d get at all.”
The response from the TLC reader, Karl French, was however quite fantastic…
In collaboration with Free Word, TLC presents our podcast series Editing Matters, that explores why even great writers need great editors.
In the second of four instalments, we speak to Tom Bromley: a TLC manuscript assessor, editor, ghost writer and author of eight books, including We Could Have Been the Wombles. He muses on the myth of the lone writer via Raymond Carver and EL James. Click here to listen to the second podcast.
If you missed our first episode, where Tim Clare talks about tackling your first draft, you can listen to it here.