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The Journey To Publication

When I was asked to write some blogs to promote Locked Up, I couldn’t think what to say, so I sent a couple of ideas to the publicist and asked if there was anything else she thought I could cover.  One of the ideas that came back was The Journey To Publication.

Now I have deliberately capitalised that, because that’s what it sounds like to me.  It’s like an epic line, like “I Am Spartacus!”  Like it should be said by that deep throated bloke who does all the film trailers; read the next bit in his voice to see what I mean.

It was a time of worry.  It was a time of nerves.  Would there be acceptance or rejection?  A book or an empty shelf?  It was – The Journey To Publication.

Do you hear it now?

Yeah, okay, I am being taking it to extremis, and should dial down the sarcasm seeing as the idea has turned into this blog. Yet the fact remains that it’s one of those things that we’ve all already read about, and probably written about. It felt a little old hat and not something I can bring anything new too. And even as I sit typing this up, I’m still not sure I’m saying anything that hasn’t been said a thousand times before.  Except maybe that speech above – am oddly proud of exercising my humour on that – you know what they say about little things pleasing little minds.

What you won’t have heard before is the actual story in Locked Up, that’s far more original, you really should go read that, that’s very engaging.

So here it is, my Journey To Publication.  I’ve always written, been receiving rejections since I was a teenager.  Largely gave up on myself as a writer because there were more immediate struggles – university, marriage, kids, life – but I never stopped writing.

Finally, the time came when I was ready to properly put myself and my writing out there again.  I’d been doing so kind of half-heartedly the whole time, and have the requisite drawer full of rejection slips to prove it, but at last I was ready to really go for it.

Guess what happened…


Just more rejection.

I finished Locked Up and thought, you know, this is really good, this should sell.  So I went to Winchester Writers Festival, meet with some agents.  Four of them.  Had all four ask to see the full manuscript.

Woo-hoo!  Right?

Right.  Yes – I got my agent.

He told me I’d have to be patient because getting published takes a long time.  And I was patient. For two years.  Not a dickie bird.  Not a hint, nor a whisper, not a whiff of interest.  Got some rather nice rejections, but they were still rejections and that’s never nice.  At the time the industry was going through some major changes, culling commissioning editors left right and centre, it’s still changing and that is likely to last a while.  The agent said that I probably wouldn’t get any luck until those commissioning agents were replaced.  The issue for me was that there was no guarantee that they would be replaced and I didn’t want to wait until I was in my fifties to get published.

It was time to take back control.

So I did.

I wrote to my agent, thanked him for his hard work and we politely parted company.  I sent my manuscript to Bloodhound Books and got a yes please in a few days.  Thank God I was sitting down when I read that email!  And I had to re-read a couple of times it to make sure it was saying what it was saying rather than just what I wanted it to say.  The point was, within a week of being told that nothing was likely to happen for ages – I had a publishing deal.


(And for once that isn’t sarcasm)

Rejection got replaced with acceptance.  The shelf will stop being empty.

The worry and the nerves however, they are very much still here.  Yes, I’m getting published, Locked Up came out on September 7th. But now I have to find readers, I have to find all you lovely people out there, strangers I have never met, and persuade you too read my book.  I have to hope you’re like it – actually I hope you’ll love it, rave about it to a load of other readers who’ll also love it – and that makes me nervous.  If it helps, I do have some great recommendations from other crime writers:


Caro Ramsay, author of the Anderson and Costello series, says:

“Tense and claustrophobic, with a spine chilling denouement!”


Katherine John, author of “By Any Name”, recently made into a stunning Amazon Prime video, says this:

“A brilliant new and authentic voice in crime fiction – GB Williams knows how to tell a story and tell it well.”


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3 in 4

3 in 4Life is what happens when you are making other plans. That’s why my blogging is getting a bit sporadic at the moment. Thankfully it is also a sign of some good things happening too.

In my previous blogs I have told you about various publishing deals I have been fortunate enough to get this year. So for those who don’t know I have sold a short erotica story, a contemporary crime novel and I’m self-publishing a steampunk novel. These are exciting times.

Specifically, this is an exciting month. All three novels are coming out within the next 4 weeks!

This wasn’t my plan it just happened, but I have to admit that this is also silly season first conventions and coming up I have The Asylum (25th August) and Bloody Scotland (8th September). Both are weekend deals, one in Lincoln and one in Stirling, so long distances and overnight stays involved.

3d render whiteSo my plan was for “Shades of Aether” to be ready for Asylum, which is why I have a Facebook banner saying out on the 25th August.


And when I spoke with Bloodhound Books about publishing “Locked Up” in September I did ask if it could be ready in time for Bloody Scotland and those lovely people agreed – thank you, Betsy!

Sinful Pleasures book

With the erotica it is going into an anthology – “Sinful Pleasures” – being published by Sinful Press, I have absolutely no say in it at all. So its publishing date of 20th August is what I was given and grateful for it I am too. I really am; thank you, Lisa, for including me.


So that’s three very different books coming out in close proximity.  And I want to actively help market them all. After all, that is part of the author’s job.

So I am blogging, Facebooking and Tweeting.   Why does only Twitter get a verb?

Anyway – mindless wondering over – It does occur to me that with such different genres I might be sending out mixed messages, but the real message is “Hey I’m a professional writer, come read my good stuff.”

And that’s the truth, I write in different genres because like all human beings I have facets, different sides to me, diverse interests.

So over the next few weeks, you will see different sides of me, a mix of steampunk, crime, and eroticism.  Admission – I am typing this up in the car as we head for Bristol – obviously I’m not driving, but I forgot to punctuate that last sentence which gave me steampunk crime eroticism. Now that oddly is a good round up of “Shades of Aether”, though there’s not exactly any eroticism in there, there are explorations of forbidden loves.

Now here is another admission – I am much better at being a writer than I am a publisher. So, the plan was put “Shades of Aether” on CreateSpace, order some copies for me then bung it up on Amazon to release on the 25th. Turns out that by getting to a state that I can order copies the site automatically lists the book on Amazon, so unwittingly, I actually released the book last night.

Publishing is definitely a steep learning curve! And thanks to Lisa and Will for being so helpful when I have ‘questions from the stupid’ about how to self-publish. And yes those questions will be shared in a later blog in the hope others can learn from my mistakes. But that’s for another month, August and September are for the 3 in 4.

Oh and if you are wondering about the cover for “Locked Up” – that I will reveal on Monday the 14th August.

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Ten Minutes of Terror

No I didn’t go on a zombie run or do a locked room breakout.   I went to meet a bunch of authors and hear them read sections from their novels.  All were from Bloodhound Books, and one of them was me.

Meeting authors doesn’t sound that terrifying does it?  Well, in fact, it’s not.  Even we crime fiction authors are actually a very nice bunch.  In fact, it was a great night.  All but 10 minutes of it were great.  But there were those ten minutes.  Ten minutes, when I had to stand up in front of 60 plus people and read out my own work – TERRIFYING!!!

Here’s the thing, I am afraid of people.  It’s not quite the same as I’m afraid of spiders – I don’t squeal and shout “kill it!” when I see another human, sometimes want to, but generally, I don’t.  Yet the fact remains – I am afraid.

I’m afraid I’m going to mess up.  Make a fool of myself.  I fear being laughed at, heckled, verbally attacked, physically attacked. I write crime so I spend a great deal of my time thinking about just how horrendous people are to each other.  That’s what I fear.

I should add that this is related to my ever-present depression.  Because of the depression, I have spent most of my life trying not to leave a mark.  Hide in the shadows, don’t make a sound.  For those who actually know me, and are thinking – what?  She’s not like that – Actually I am.  I learned years ago that that behaviour gets me nothing and actually hurts me, so I try to overcome it. Probably over compensate a fair amount. People assume I’m standoffish, well, they don’t assume it, they’re right – I am standoffish – until I get to know someone, then I can relax and be me.

But this is a confidence trick, inside I am still a scared little girl.

I also want to make clear that this is not just a vague nervousness, its real heart attack terror time. I worry about going into the office every day because of the number of people there so imagine how I feel when faced with a bunch of strangers. Anyone could be in that bunch – including the real-life serial killer let alone the ones in my imagination. Which means I was literally quaking in my Doc Martins, my heart was hammering like I had run a mile (like I  could run a whole mile!)

So I guess you’re wondering why I’m writing this post – well it’s not that I want to mention that

LOCKED UP on will be released on 7th SEPTEMBER,

or anything.  Well okay, it is, but it’s more than that.  The author’s job doesn’t stop at writing a book, we also have to promote ourselves and our work, and shrinking Violets do not do that well. Which means I have got to face this fear and overcome it.

Next question – how?

Well, exposure therapy.   Basically, I’m looking for open mike events to attend. I am going to go face my fear where it is ‘safe’ to do so.  It won’t be easy or fun, but I have to do it and the more I do it, the more I can trick the audience that I have confidence, and then who knows, maybe one day I might even convince myself.


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Fantastic News!

Have now officially heard some fabulous news.  Tana Collins, who has been mentioned in previous posts, has managed to secure a three book deal for her DI Caruthers series.

Well done Tana!

I first read Carruthers in May 2015 when a sample of the first novel landed in my inbox as an editing assignment.  Even though in editing the sample I had to point out that in that first draft Carruthers was a bit of a perv, I knew Tana had a good character, a good story and real potential as a writer.    The full novel, which arrived for my editing about a month later, proved that – I think I impressed her with my knowledge of tattoos – and Carruthers was suddenly a very good guy.

I’ve now edited two in the series and I’ve enjoyed both.  I’d like to see more, though now Tana has a publishing deal it’s unlikely that I – as a mere freelancer – will see book three.  Shame – I guess I’ll just have to buy the third book.  Mind I’ll probably buy the first two anyway.

Unusually for writers who I’ve edited, I’ve actually meet Tana, and she’s a thoroughly lovely lady too.  She deserves this success and I hope it really works out for her.

If you want to know more about Tana, you can find her author page on Facebook, and more details on Bloodhound Books.

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