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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Friday, September 07, 2007


- I pulled out the contact list, sent the manuscript to 5 of them, one of them picked it up.
- I sat in a hotel room for a week. It was me and my PC and the book was done.
- Rejection, there was no problem with it. No pink slips. They loved my book soon as I sent it out.
- Even before the book was out, the film rights had been bought.

Yes, it happens. Only to a lucky few. There are those million dollar advances, there is a J K Rowling. Behind each of that success is the story of those who have to try infinitely hard to get their book/books out. At a time when more and more authors are making it sound like its so easy to get your story out there, its refreshing to meet writers like Louise Penny and Jeffery Deaver.

Louise made her literary debut with 'Still Life' and has since gone on to win several awards and write more compelling books - the latest being 'The Cruellest Month'. She has been called a poetic and gifted writer who "writes like a modern day Agatha Christie." While her writing has won critical acclaim, things weren't always smooth sailing. After several years with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, specialising in hard news and current affairs, she trained her pen on fiction. And here's how it all began for her:

"This is how I got a leading London literary agent and three-book deals with Hodder/Headline in the UK and St. Martin's Minotaur in the US. Ready?
I entered a contest.
I was surfing the web and came across the Crime Writers Association in Great Britain and noticed their Debut Dagger contest.
If you're an unpublished crime novelist, I beg you - go to this site: go to their 'welcome' section and from there read down to the 'debut dagger' part.

Click on that.

There were 800 entries worldwide in my year (2004). They shortlisted 14, and I was one. I knew then my life had changed."

Louise shares several stories like these with her readers on her website. In person, she is even more forthright, she talks about rejection, how books aren't born in a day, the fact that her first book was possibly in her head for nearly 40 years and why it's important to keep writing.

Jeffery Deaver, the multi-award winning writer, with 23 crime novels and sales topping 25 million to his credit, has similar tales to tell.

"There's something wrong, if a writer says they are happy with their first draft."

He outlines extensively, spending close to 6-8 months on the plot and character building, then begins the process of re-writing. "Somedays I go back to what I wrote the day earlier and wonder did I really write that drivel?"

When you hear this from one of the most skilled thriller writers of our time, you've got to spring to attention.

Deaver admits to days when writers block takes over, days when writing is difficult and why his readers matter. Which is why after charming his readers with Lincoln Rhyme, the master of twists and turns has unveiled a brand new heroine Kathryn Dance in his latest book 'The Sleeping Doll'.

He's a literary star, he's a busy man and he's happy to give one shot for the blog, before rushing off for the next interview. How can I not love it all?

That's Jeffery Deaver with Farokh of Pansing.

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