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I am a writer - late developer since I wasn't published until I was 50. I have now written 23 novels, numerous short stories and articles.

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Friday, 3 July 2009
With writing often you hear talk of which trends, genres, sub-genres are popular, what is likely to grab an agents attention, what will sell. In How to Books you often see advice to identify the trends etc. I think this is daft advice. By the time a trend is recognised and you've worked out what you are going to do, let alone write it, hone it and present it, then – the trend has changed, it's too late. Either the market is flooded or sales have slipped and publishers are off on another tack. The best advice I can give is that you forget all about who is looking for what and concentrate on the book you need to write. That story which entered your mind and which you think about and dream about obsessively. The book which has become part of you. I really believe that success won't come if you write to order. Success is much more likely to come if you write that which you enjoy writing. When you write this book of yours it is imperative that you concentrate on the book alone. You have to put thoughts of others out of the way, such as, agents, publishers, readers, critics. All have to be ignored for they get in the way. They make you waste time, they impede the flow – that all important flow. Think only of yourself and the book. Invariably it is the publisher who will decide where your book sits in the genres. You may not agree with them, then that is a different matter and then you can make your stand. Is it a romance, a thriller or a crime novel. Is it a book for women or men. Or is it for both? Is it literary or commercial or is it the one they all look for – the cross-over novel.? These are the questions to ask yourself but when it is finished. There is a magic in writing but it only works when, as I said in my last post, you allow yourself to be totally relaxed and you are enjoying yourself.

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