Justice For All - The Road To Publication
This piece was written for the Crime Time website, and it focusses on the journey that Justice For All went from genesis to publication.
When I set out to write my debut novel, Justice For All, I had no idea if it would ever see the light of day, as at that stage not only was I an author without a publisher, I was also an author without an agent. Before I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard to be more accurate) I undertook a large amount of research into such disparate subjects as the language employed by L.A. gangbangers, traditional Russian recipes and old Russian proverbs, and the skills and techniques of a world class sniper, then set about creating a detailed plot outline. Some authors plunge straight in and see where the journey takes them, but that approach isn’t for me – I like to know where I’m headed before I set out. After a few months of hard slog in my spare room, I finally had a first draft. My next move was to show it to a few friends and acquaintances, then once I was confident that I was on the right track, I decided to hire a freelance editor. By that point I was deadly serious about getting published, and I wanted my manuscript to be as honed as possible before I submitted it to agents.
With a fresh draft of the manuscript in the bag, I drew up a hit list of agents – ostensibly ones that specialised in crime thrillers and were actively looking for new authors. Two days after sending out a handful of submissions, I got a call from Broo Doherty, who quickly offered to represent me. To say I was over the moon with this breakthrough doesn’t do it justice - during the course of the telephone conversation I actually started to dance around my spare room. No publisher will take you seriously until you have representation, thus agents are deluged with thousands of submissions, making it very hard for authors to stand out from the crowd. Broo then set about finding me a publisher, and a few weeks later I’d signed a two-book deal with MIRA books, enabling the second stage of writing Justice For All to kick in. When you step up to the big leagues of a professional publishing house, editorial experts study your book in great detail, and a number of suggestions were forthcoming to help tighten the prose and enhance the plot. Now you might think that the prospect of a further re-draft would have been met with a distinct lack of enthusiasm on my part, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Working through MIRA’s suggestions was a real learning process, and it help turned Justice For All into the lean, mean, and moody beast that it is today. The whole process – from writing the very first line to seeing the book hit the shelves – has taken around two years to complete. I hope that you deem my labours worthwhile, and more importantly, I hope you enjoy Justice For All!