Author Showcase, Writing Tips and Tricks

Author Q&A: AJ Frazer – THE JAGGED EDGE

For an author, there is nothing that quite beats the thrill of publication day, no matter how many books are under your belt. And just such a momentous day is fast approaching for AJ Frazer and his timely eco-thriller, The Jagged Edge.

A madman hellbent on revenge. An ex-war correspondent – once lauded – desperate to find his old edge. And the countdown towards the end of the world as we know it begins.

A thriller with a conscience, The Jagged Edge does for climate change what John Grisham has done for the law, cutting to the heart of the biggest threat to humanity the world has ever seen. 

I worked with AJ on this gripping race-against-time novel, ensuring the novel maintained the perfect balance of a pacy and entertaining thriller and a thought-provoking ecological warning.

AJ, welcome! The Jagged Edge is your latest novel. Tell us a little more about it.

Mercurial madman, Victor Sagen, is hellbent on saving the world from escalating climate change. Sagen is convinced that the only solution is to launch a devastating cyber weapon, called Biblical, that will send humanity back to the technological dark ages. A once lauded ex-war correspondent, Dominic Elliston, is desperate to find his old edge. Through a series of heart-stopping events, he is dragged (willingly) into Sagen’s orbit and, ultimately, finds himself in a position to stop him from releasing Biblical. But the question even Dominic must ask himself is, should he? The answer will shock him. 

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Coffee with Colleagues, Meet the Editor, What Does an Editor Do?

Coffee with Colleagues

One of the best parts of working in book publishing is that some of the most gifted, talented, fun and just generally great people form the majority of the workforce. We are all united by the love of the written word, but each person has such a wide variety of skills and knowledge that even if you’ve worked with someone for years, they’ll still surprise you with a little nugget of wisdom when you least expect it.

However, now that I’m freelance, my nearest physical college is Sammy the Editorial Assistant cat (who is currently snoring away by my desk). And now that the whole word has effectively moved to working from home – look at you all, jumping on the bandwagon! – I thought it would be lovely to reach out to the publishing community and get to know some of my colleagues in the industry a little more – albeit over a Zoom chat, rather than the lunches and coffees that publishing professionals are known for.

Interview with Isobelle Lans from Inspired Lines Editing

Isobelle Lans is a UK-based author and freelance fiction editor at Inspired Lines Editing. In 2019, she left her in-house editing job to start her freelance business, and since then has been helping fiction writers to refine their manuscripts and hone their writing skills. Isobelle works on a range of fiction, including fantasy, crime, romance, and historical fiction. If you’ve got a manuscript or story idea you think would benefit from a professional eye, get in touch to ask her how she can help you or what advice she can offer! You can connect with her on Instagram, where she shares insights, tips and encouragement for other writers.

Hi, Isobelle. So tell me a little about yourself and your journey to becoming a book editor?

Hi! Thanks so much for having me on your blog! I’m Isobelle Lans, a fiction editor from Australia who now lives in England. My favourite genres to edit are fantasy, romance, crime, and historical fiction.

I suppose like many editors, my assent into going freelance was quite slow. Editing was a skill I realised I had (and something I realised I enjoyed doing), so I decided to look into it as a career. I did an online training course in Australia and, from there, reached out to a few freelance editors to see if they had any mentorship programmes available. I got lucky and worked on a few projects under the guidance of an experienced fiction editor. That really sold it to me. I knew this was what I wanted to do. I then managed to get a few more freelance projects by simply cold calling other editors, or small businesses that I thought would benefit from a proofread.

After I moved to England I completed training with the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading and became a member. I got a few freelance jobs through them in the beginning. I then also took a course on developmental editing and the skills required for this in-depth edit. That was an amazing course, and I fell in love with developmental editing. During all my training I kept working on freelance projects. I then got a job at an indie publisher in London. My boss there was so incredibly knowledgeable and working alongside her definitely taught me a lot about what it takes to work with writers. I originally planned to stay working in-house in London, but I realised it just wasn’t for me. I went to interview at one of the big publishing houses down there and thought ‘I don’t actually want to work a 9-5 job and commute in London!’ So, I decided to go freelance instead, and Inspired Lines Editing was born!

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Freelance Editor Month – Overview

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that over the last month, I’ve been taking part in a little prompt challenge of my own: Freelance Editor Month. This is essentially a challenge to get us editors talking more about ourselves and not just our authors (guilty!) So here’s a chance to get to know me a little better and understand what Rebecca Millar Editorial is all about:

Day 1: How did you get started as a freelance editor?

In-house to going it alone!

Well, I used to work as an editor at one of the Big Four (Can you guess which one?) But then, my partner (J) got a job in Australia, and so, more of necessity at the time (definitely by choice now), I decided to jump into the scary world of going it alone. I also moved from working on a mixture of non-fiction and fiction to specialising in my favourite genre of all – crime, suspense and thriller fiction – and haven’t looked back since.

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Book Review

Book Review: THE NIGHT LAWYER by Alex Churchill

Before I wanted to be an editor, I thought about pursuing a career in the law. Funny, no? However, my poor memory and terror of public speaking put paid to that quite quickly. But, if you think about it, the jobs aren’t that different. Now apologies to my lawyer friends if this is totally reductive, but if you think about it, really, all lawyers are just story tellers. Both the defence and prosecution are given the same building blocks – the facts – but it is their job to weave these together to present their client’s side, their narrative, their story, to win the case.

This is what fascinates me about legal thrillers and why I love to read John Grisham and Steve Cavanagh. But also why I devoured the debut novel by barrister Alex Churchill, THE NIGHT LAWYER.

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Author Showcase, Writing Tips and Tricks

Publication Day: Author Q&A: Rolly Bastard – KILL IT ALL AWAY

For an author, there is nothing that quite beats the thrill of the publication of their first book. And today is that lucky day for Rolly Bastard and his debut Kill it All Away.

I worked with Rolly throughout the editing process and it was certainly lively! A thriller with twists and turns at every chapter, this is a novel that’s hard to put down. No matter how much you try, it’s almost impossible not to be lured in by Rolly’s charistamtic – albeit not always diplomatic – narration, and the shocking and entertaining story that he has to tell.

Rolly, welcome! Thank you for joining us here today. KILL IT ALL AWAY is your debut novel, isn’t it? Tell us a little more about it. 

This book is a thriller at its core, with murder, mystery, and twists, but also an examination of one man’s attempt to put his life back together, especially the relationship with his twenty-year-old daughter. And I know that description doesn’t sound like it, but there is also a lot of humour – dark humour – but humour all the same. 

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Blog Tour: LOST SOULS by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman

Now as a devotee of all things crime, suspense and thriller, it’s no small wonder that LOST SOULS is my first Jonathan Kellerman title. He’s best known for his Alex Delaware series set in Los Angeles, but Kellerman has recently started working together with his son Jesse Kellerman on the Clay Edison series. LOST SOULS is the latest installment and sees Clay Edison, deputy coroner, faced with uncovering the mystery behind skeleton of a baby found in the grounds of People’s Park in Berkeley, California.

Kellerman and Kellerman write with a confidence ease that makes reading their prose a delight. I wasn’t sure about starting in the middle of the series, but, you know, it happens. And admittedly there are some aspects of the novel that might be easier to understand with prior knowledge of the series – such as the long list of named characters – but the clear and entertaining style of the authors means that this is only a small obstacle and one I mostly ignored as I was too intrigued by the story (It’s easy to get the gist of who they are anyway as the characterisation is so spot-on!).

After reading the novel, I’ve been intrigued to find out more about Clay and pick up the earlier books in the series – because if they are as entertaing as LOST SOULS, I’ll know I’ll enjoy it! Perhaps start at the beginning of the series, but I’d recommend you purchase them all at the same time as you’ll devour this nuanced crime series very quickly. 📚

LOST SOULS by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman (Arrow Publishing), available now as a paperback and ebook (Published as HALF MOON BAY in the US)

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Crime, Suspense and Thriller Reads by Black Authors – BLACK LIVES MATTER

Across the world, a revolution is happening as people are coming together to protest against racism and promote anti-racism.

I want to do what I can by amplifying the Black voices of my first love: fiction. I am, of course, a specialist in all things crime, thriller and suspense so I wanted to share a list of some of the brilliant Black novelists writing in the genre to add to your reading lists and to-be-read piles.

The below is just a limited selection of the fantastic array of crime, thriller and suspense written by Black authors – I wish I could fit them all in – so I would urge you to check out the Crime Writers of Colour website as well as the Black Mystery Authors Directory to discover even more fabulous writers, and hopefully your next read.

Dorothy Koomson

Dorothy Koomson is the award-winning author of 15 novels and has been making up stories since she was 13 when she used to share her stories with her convent school friends. Her published titles include: Tell Me Your Secret, The Brighton Mermaid, The Friend, When I Was Invisible, That Girl From Nowhere, The Flavours of Love, The Woman He Loved Before, Goodnight, Beautiful and The Chocolate Run.

Her next novel All My Lies Are True is out in July.

Eric Jerome Dickey

Eric Jerome Dickey is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five novels as well as a six-issue miniseries of graphic novels featuring Storm (X-Men) and the Black Panther. Originally from Memphis, Dickey now lives on the road and rests in whatever hotel will have him.

Angela Henry

Angela Henry was once told that her past life careers included spy, researcher, and investigator. She stuck with what she knew because today she’s a mystery writing library reference specialist, who loves to people watch and eavesdrop on conversations. She’s the author of five mysteries featuring equally nosy amateur sleuth Kendra Clayton, as well as the thriller The Paris Secret. When she’s not working, writing, or practicing her stealth, she loves to travel, is connoisseur of B horror movies, and an admitted anime addict. She lives in Ohio and is currently hard at work trying to meet her next deadline.

Rachel Howzell Hall

Rachel was born in Los Angeles, California fifteen days after Paul McCartney announced the split of the Beatles. As a child, she kept a pen in her hand, writing everywhere—in notebooks, on loose-leaf paper, in her big brother’s prep-school yearbook and on the back of church bulletins. But never on walls, buildings or freeway overpasses. That is graffiti.

In 2002, her debut novel, A QUIET STORM, was published by Scribner to great notice, including reviews from O Magazine and Publishers Weekly, with a starred review from Library Journal and also chosen as a “Rory’s Book Club” selection, the must-read book list for fictional television character Rory Gilmore of The Gilmore Girls.

Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley is one of the most versatile and admired writers in America today. He is the author of more than 43 critically acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. His work has been translated into 23 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and The Nation, among other publications. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in New York City.

Malorie Blackman

Although not strictly thriller, as a teenager I loved Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses, so couldn’t great a list without it.

An award-winning British author and dramatist, Malorie Blackman is a major voice in children’s publishing, holding the post of Waterstones Children’s Laureate from 2013 to 2015. She is best-known for her bestselling novels Noughts & Crosses series as well as Pig Heart BoyThief, Cloud BustingBoys Don’t Cryand Chasing the Stars. The fifth novel in the Noughts & Crosses series, Crossfire, was published in August 2019.