24. THE END – of Writing and Researching a Novel

Welcome to my final blog THE END of Writing and Researching a Novel.

I hope that my blogs have helped explain the work involved in researching a novel and how important it is to give authenticity to your work.
But, what sells a book?

Is it the book cover? The content? The research? Luck? Contacts? Publisher or Agent?
Obviously going down the traditional publishing route and having an agent and publisher who will bring your book to market in a timely and professional manner, will save you hours of having to learn all the other jobs that go with being a self-published author.

But even with all this support it doesn’t mean your book will be a best seller?

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It’s the readers that determine if it’s enjoyable or not!
It’s word of mouth. Reviews and building a reputation, as in any business in the world, that will get you noticed. So, if you are a reader, please leave reviews on Amazon / Kindle and tell your friends.

The blurb on the back of the book helps. In my first blog when I spoke about the Snowflake Method, it suggests that the first thing you do is to write a sentence on what your book is about. This will be vastly different to the one that you write on the back of your book when it’s completed – and that’s a good thing. No-one writes a perfect first draft.

The originality of voice and your one sentence summary can be the hook that many readers, agents or publishers look for. It’s the hook to get them to pick the book off the shelf or to download it from Amazon. It’s also how you describe your book and align it to other authors and similar books.

For example, if I described BOOK OF HOURS as Stig Larsson meets Donna Leon, the reader would expect a strong heroine embroiled in a crime abroad.

As I’ve demonstrated in my twenty-four blogs, writing and researching a novel is not for the faint-hearted. It’s hard work but extremely rewarding. When your book arrives in the post and you see you name on the cover for the first time there’s an amazing sense of achievement. Not everyone will understand the work involved. I think publishing is like  Christmas – all that preparation and anticipation and it’s over  or read in a few hours. The readers wait eagerly for the next instalment as excitedly as they wait for the summer to arrive.

I’m fortunate that I love to research different topics and themes. I’ve been lucky to meet soprano singers from around the world. I’ve had professional and private advice on themes of adoption, help from a drone expert and amazing kiters who shared valuable advice, including an instructor who volunteered to re-enact Mikky’s final scene.

I have embarked on my second FutureLearn course: Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds: Maritime Archaeology by the University of Southampton. UNESCO has estimated there are three million shipwrecks worldwide. I am also studying a Forensic Psychology course.

Happily, I don’t know where this will lead me or any of my characters that exist on the pages of my novels or those still haunting the creative passages of my mind.

However this is where I begin my research for my fourth book in the Culture Crime Series. As yet, I have no title, no plot and no story-line.

I have a vague idea that it might involve Maritime Archaeology and I am not sure if it will feature Mikky, my flawed, quirky, vulnerable and brave heroine.

I will keep my fingers crossed that more experts and professionals will help guide me and shape the authenticity of my novels and thereby help me create an imaginary yet plausible world for my readers.

Writing is my passion. 

In sharing this blog with you I have demonstrated how I’ve used my research and how important it is to check the facts and details. I’ve also proved that you can write outside your experience. You can be whatever writer you decide to be.

There’s an imaginary world out there to explore and although it’s on a far smaller scale, it’s as exciting for me as an author as I’m sure it was for the explorers like Christopher Columbus, Buzz Aldrin and Sir David Attenborough.
I hope that you, my reader or fellow author, have enjoyed this mini blog journey with me. Thank you for reading my blog. Please do contact me. I love to be in touch. As I said before, writing can be a very lonely process and I like to share with others.

Wishing you all every success.

Best wishes, Janet 



Future Learn
Forensic Psychology course University of Kent
My Website


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