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The Selfies Book Awards 2021 – McCleave and Wills shortlisted!

The Snowdonia Killings by Simon McCleave and His Wife's Sister by A J Wills
Simon McCleave and A J Wills have been shortlisted for the Selfies Awards 2021

Being a book editor brings all its own rewards – getting to work with brilliant authors and stories everyday being one of them – but it’s even more exciting when al the hard work of my fabulous authors pays off. Which is why I’m so excited to share the wonderful news that two of my talented authors have been shortlisted for the Selfies Awards 2021.

The Selfies Awards were created to celebrate the best in self-publishing and are judged on the quality of the writing; the production values of the book; an enticing cover and blurb that successfully addresses the target audience; and an effective and creative marketing and publicity strategy that has the potential for great sales.

Both Simon McCleave’s The Snowdonia Killings and AJ Wills’s His Wife’s Sister are both shortlisted in the adult fiction category, and I couldn’t be more proud. Congratulations!

If you haven’t read them yet, check out the below for a taster and make sure to grab your copy before the winners are announced on 20th April 2021.

Find out more about the Selfie Awards and the other nominees here.


The Snowdonia Killings by Simon McCleave.  Starting a new life in Snowdonia was always DI Ruth Hunter’s dream. About to hit fifty, the veteran police officer trades in the crime-ridden streets of London for a more peaceful life in rural North Wales. But she has barely settled into her new position in North Wales Police when the body of a brutally murdered woman is discovered.

His Wife’s Sister by Adrian Wills.  Mara Sitwell was only eleven when she went missing.  Nineteen years later, she’s been found wandering through remote woodland, alone and confused.  She says she’s been kept in an underground cell for all these years – but refuses to reveal anything about the man who snatched her.  What does she have to hide? And who is she protecting?*

Simon McCleave The Snowdonia Killings

*Disclaimer: Although I did not work on His Wife’s Sister with A J Wills, I am excited to have worked on his upcoming title.

Writing Tips and Tricks

Fancy your chances?

Crime and Thriller Writing Competitions and Awards

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to embrace the bold and send your finished manuscript out into the world, now’s the perfect time. With the publishing world awash with competitions and awards right now, why not give it a go? 

Read on for some great suggestions to get started – especially for my crime and thriller authors

Continue reading “Fancy your chances?”
Coffee with Colleagues, Meet the Editor, What Does an Editor Do?

Coffee with Colleagues: Interview with Isobelle Lans from Inspired Lines Editing

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!

Continue reading “Coffee with Colleagues: Interview with Isobelle Lans from Inspired Lines Editing”
Meet the Editor

ANNOUNCEMENT: SYPLaunch – Society of Young Publishers’ Mentoring Scheme Mentee!


When I first made the decision to go freelance, I was quite scared about the future. I was worried about the unstable nature of working for myself, let alone starting my business whilst thousands of miles from home and having no real business experience whatsoever. I looked at myself and thought, ‘Are you winging this?’ However, what I did have was lots of enthusiasm, editorial experience and a voracious love of crime, thriller and suspense fiction.

This is why I love my job, because I get to do what I love every day.

But that only happens because of my lovely authors.

Continue reading “ANNOUNCEMENT: SYPLaunch – Society of Young Publishers’ Mentoring Scheme Mentee!”