Guest Post: Q&A with Hiding in Plain sight author, Eoghan Egan @eoghanegan @LoveBooksTours

07:30


A vicious serial killer roams the Irish Midlands... with his sights set on the next victim. A successful businessman has found the perfect recipe for getting away with murder. No bodies, no evidence.No evidence, no suspect.High art and low morals collide when graduate Sharona Waters discovers a multi-million euro art scam in play. She delves in, unwittingly putting herself on a direct trajectory with danger as the killer accelerates his murder spree. When Sharona gets drawn into the killer’s orbit, she peels away his public persona and exposes the psychopath underneath. Suddenly, the small town has no hiding place…

Q & A :

·  Location

I was born and raised in Co Roscommon, the 12th largest county in Ireland. Initially I set early drafts of Hiding in Plain Sight in the US and UK, but it was only after I relocated the setting to the Irish Midlands, that everything clicked into place. Adding in an actual January date and making the weather another character, gave me the perfect panorama for a crime novel.

 
·  Inspiration:

I wanted to write a novel that blurred standard crime fiction guidelines and yet remain faithful to the genre. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, just do something different. I believe I’ve achieved this by asking myself lots of ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions. 
For example, a large number of crime novels I’ve read are set in cities, and the main character is usually a cop

What if the bad guy was operating under the radar in a rural community?

What if there were no cops involved in catching the bad guy?

How would ordinary people caught up in extraordinary situations behave?

How would a rural community react to the devastation caused by a serial killer, as opposed to city dwellers?

Having to answer dozens of those kind of questions allows me, I believe, to add a different spin.  

 
·  Favourite character to write

The bad guys are always more interesting to write about. They also need more researching, thereby forcing me to learn more. In this book, the main character is a serial killer, and to make him as authentic as possible I had to drill into his psyche and try to understand life from his perspective. (Scary and revealing).

Generally, I enjoy writing about any character that ratchets up conflict and tension within the story. Boring characters bore readers. People have enough banality in their lives without reading about someone else’s. So, I try to delete the predictability and ordinariness of characters, and magnify what’s left by a hundred.

·  Publishing Journey

In 2012. I read a newspaper article about a spate of disappearances, and wondered how people could disappear, literally, in broad daylight.

By year end, I’d a 120,000-word manuscript, read and reviewed by friends. I was ready to publish, but just to be sure, I enrolled in an eight-week writing course titled ‘The Second Draft,’ run by the Irish Writers’ Centre with author Mia Gallagher as tutor. This was the first time my work got critiqued by a peer group … and the expected confirmation didn’t materialise. Mia’s feedback, plus comments from the other writers showed me I’d a long way to go. During the next 4 years and numerous drafts, the opening and closing sentences never changed, but everything else got shifted, deleted, toned down, ramped up or drilled into.

I began submitting to literary agents. A handful commended me on the characters or made some small suggestions, but didn’t ask to read the full script. Most didn’t reply. (I learned that within the publishing industry, no reply means “I’m not interested).”

I kept rewriting and editing. Any extra time, I had, I spent attending writing courses or literary festivals in Ireland and the U.K. In 2015, I enrolled in Maynooth University’s Creative Writing curriculum, under the tutelage of John McKenna, Shauna Gilligan and Orla Murphy. Apart from crafting my short story skills – which had lain dormant for years – I used this time to edit my novel again, working on the feedback from an inspirational group of writers and teachers.

Other shorter courses followed. An eight-week crime writing programme with author Louise Phillips back at the Irish Writers’ Centre. A six-week Edit and Pitch your Novel online course with Curtis Brown. One day tutorials covering synopses and cover letters. Character arc classes, publishing guides and editing standards… the list goes on. On one course, the facilitator, a respected publisher, suggested I self-publish, as it could be a way to get noticed by an agent. I’d never considered self-publishing as an option; I’d my heart set on traditional publishing, and anyway, I was still learning. Every completed module stretched and increased my knowledge, offering new perspectives on the work in progress.

In 2017, the manuscript was long-listed in a U.K. novel competition. An Irish editor requested the whole script and liked it enough to pass it onto her submissions department. It didn’t get any further. I got shortlisted in a Novel Pitch Competition with another U.K. literary agent, and met with him. He decided it wasn’t what he wanted. I continued sending out my work and in 2018 another agency requested the full copy. The reply? Another positive “no.” (Writers grab onto any bit of favourable feedback, like a lifeline).

I took a break from the novel, started work on the sequel and also began writing short stories again. One was shortlisted for The Bridport Short Story Prize in 2018, and another for the 2019 Listowel’s Bryan McMahon Short Story Award Competition.

Back for another round of redrafting and editing on the novel, and during March 2019, it won Litopia’s prestigious Pop-Up Submission. Validation after nearly seven years.

As I learned more about the publishing business, I realised that while agents are a superb addition, it’s a myth that they do everything for their stables of authors. Yes, mainstream publishers execute a lot of the heavy lifting with regard a sales force, marketing muscle and distribution channels before, during and immediately after a book launch. But writers have to promote themselves – now more than ever – and when the initial euphoria dies down, they must keep the momentum going by becoming their own agent, publisher and marketeer, while simultaneously growing their writer platform… and deliver the next book on deadline.

Self-publishing gives independent writers creative control, but requires several skill sets and platforms they have to juggle. So, that’s what I decided to do. Having made that decision in March 2018, it took another 9 months to launch the book.

From concept to final edit, has taken seven years of writing, editing, redrafting, deletions, rejection, revision, attending and learning from writing courses and literary festivals, getting feedback from beta readers, followed by other rounds of editing. There are no short-cuts – or if someone has found them, tell me where they are…


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Guest Post: Writing Dialogue with The Drop Pot Man author K. Saunders @lovebooksgroup

09:00


At first glance it appears to be a straightforward shooting accident... After ten years with the Greater Manchester Police, Detective Inspector Clare Morell thought she’d seen a lot of baffling cases; but newly assigned to deep in the heart of the West Country, she finds herself in an unfamiliar world. There are shepherds and Romanys, who speak in strange tongues; a Lord Byron lookalike army captain and a lethal killer who just might be an ETA trained hit-man. The strange lowland heath in the beat where she now works triggers an old childhood fear and there is the growing sense that her new home is not only disturbing but somehow threatening... And then... there’s Ellis.

Guest Post: Writing Dialogue


The children’s play area had been re-vamped since Clare had last driven past: it was now all stainless steel and bright panels with ropes and complex climbing sections – like a mini SAS assault course. There was also a new finger post which said Teenage Area.

‘What the hell’s down there, Karen – special bins for their needles?’ she said bitterly, as she pointed at it.

‘Probably, boss. But they’ve also got a “special” free condom machine … there’s GCSE revision questions on the packets.’

I enjoy writing dialogue and throughout The Drop Pot Man there were plenty of opportunities. It was used as a vehicle to sometimes inject some humour to lighten some quite dark themes and dialogue is also, I feel, the best way of illustrating an individual’s character and personality.

I created several groupings and situations. As examples, there are the interactions between Clare and her team which had to be within hierarchical constraints, then there’s the ‘craic’ at Bellini’s Café (‘Do you know how many calories there are in that Lardy cake, sarge?’ ‘No. Do you know how many consonants there are in “Mind your own fucking business?”.’), and the relationship between Clare and her outrageous neighbour, the lawyer Emma Butler – not forgetting the explosive one with the lecture Rob Ellis.


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iNostaligia Book Blitz @inostalgiauk @Lovebookstours

08:00



The team at iNostalgia have a deal on their non-fiction titles now when you purchase them through the iNostalgia store. Three titles for only £25 in their online store. Here is a little snippet of each book available. 


Fifteen years on from its original publication, The Changing Face of Manchester, Second Edition brings you up-to-date photographs of today’s modern Manchester. Shot as close to the original images as possible by photographer Justin Garner, you are able to see how much Manchester has changed over the decades through these side-by-side images.

Featuring fascinating stories by author Clive Hardy to accompany the stunning images, you can take home this little slice of Manchester history, and in years to come you will be able to look back and remember those days of old with fond memories.


Around Manchester in the 1950s is a new 160 page paperback book featuring a unique collection of more than 200 unmissable photographs and memories from the Manchester Evening News Archives. Relive the great times of the 50s and share your memories with friends and loved ones.

There are many unmissable images from the Swinging Sixties in Clive Hardy’s brilliant book Around Liverpool and Merseyside in the 1960s.


Around Manchester in the 1970s is a new 160 page paperback book featuring a unique collection of more than 300 unmissable photographs and memories from the Manchester Evening News Archives. Relive the great times of the 1970s and share your memories with friends and loved ones.

The 180+ images, many never published before, come from the fantastic archive of the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal, and the Daily Mirror. The majority capture the life and times of Newcastle during the decade, and there are others showing wider Tyneside. Along with the text, they give a taste of what it was like to live in the region during that unique period.


Fifteen years on from its original publication, The Changing Face of Manchester, Second Edition brings you up-to-date photographs of today’s modern Manchester. Shot as close to the original images as possible by photographer Justin Garner, you are able to see how much Manchester has changed over the decades through these side-by-side images.

Featuring fascinating stories by author Clive Hardy to accompany the stunning images, you can take home this little slice of Manchester history, and in years to come you will be able to look back and remember those days of old with fond memories.

You can purchase all these wonderful books in the iNostalgia store. 

https://inostalgia.co.uk/


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