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The Self-Publishing Podcast: Interview with Simon McCleave (and a sneak appearance from me!)

A couple of weeks ago, I donned my headphones to listen to The Self-Publishing Show podcast, hosted by Mark Dawson and James Blatch. So many of my authors are making the brave leap into the literary world by going out on their own – an endeavour I thoroughly support after going solo back in January 2019. Therefore, I was delighted to hear that on this episode, it was none other than my lovely author Simon McCleave who was being interviewed! Simon has gone from strength to strength with his DI Ruth Hunter series and has achieved so much in only a year. I have edited Simon since the beginning of his novelist career and I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this series, not only because Simon is an incredibly talented storyteller, but because I’ve been so proud to see how he’s evolved as a writer – that’s one of the most rewarding things for an editor to see! So, I was over the moon to hear just how well he’d done – over 125,000 copies – but also to hear a shout out for little old me. *blushing*

“I’ve got an amazing editor who pretty much taught me to write novels […] I’m eternally grateful to [Rebecca], because all the bad habits of being a screenwriter came out in that first book, about POV and head-hopping and all that kind of stuff. She basically drilled that out of me gently, and held my hand through the first book. I’ve used her ever since. She’s very, very good at looking at the first or second draft and spotting when a character’s not acting in the way that she would expect or plot holes or … She’s got a fantastic idea if you move that scene back, that will make that act much, much pacier.”

SIMON MCCLEAVE INTERVIEWED ON THE SELF-PUBLISHING PODCAST, EPISODE #245.

Working with authors to help them hone their craft, tighten their stories and polish their narratives is the best part of my job, and it brings me so much joy each day to encourage my writers and their manuscripts to be the best they can be, so I’m not going to lie, I got a little emotional listening to Simon’s comments. But really, without you all, I can’t do what I do every day, so it is me who should be thanking you; without my authors, I wouldn’t be able to live my dream of helping writers produce fantastic fiction every day. So thank you. (No, I’m not crying; you’re crying!)

For those of you who haven’t heard the podcast do check it out (you can listen here or wherever you get your podcasts), as Simon has both a fascinating story to tell of his writing and self-publishing journey and some great pointers as to how give yourself the edge with your own indie-publishing adventure. You can also find my own interview with Simon from the start of his adventure with The Snowdonia Killings on my blog, answering the really important questions: favourite writing snack, anyone?

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Book Review: TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH by Gilly Macmillan

📚Suspense fans—read this now!📚

By day, I edit crime, suspense and thriller, and by night, well, I read crime, suspense and thriller. It’s a genre that I have always loved; there is something about a complex, changing narrative of intrigue and mystery and a bloody good twist that I just can’t resist.

And an author who delivers on this level with every single book is the masterful Gilly Macmillan. Her latest novel To Tell You the Truth is my favourite yet (and I actually helped edit her previous book THE NANNY, so that’s saying something). Gilly has created a complex and fascinating character in Lucy – a novelist whose talent for imagination may have gone too far. She narrates a dark and multi-layered tale of deception, death and lies – or so you think. With twists at every turn, I was compelled to read the novel late into the night, desperate to uncover the truth.

Set in Gilly’s hometown of Bristol, I was transported back to my university days in a city that I loved, but this also added an extra level of intrigue as much of the action takes place on the other side of the Suspension Bridge from the city, which I actually only visited a couple of times. This created an otherworldy sense for me in a, which was unnerving and built on Lucy Harper’s complex world that Gilly has weaved together so well. (On an aside, this book is also a delight for those who work in the world of books and publishing; I couldn’t help but smile at Lucy’s interactions with her publishers – everyone loves a treat hamper!)

To Tell You the Truth by Gilly Macmillan publishes on 25th June 2020 in ebook and hardback. But if I were you, I’d preorder it now…

Thanks to the author and publishers for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.