Welcome to my little corner here!
When I’m not calling myself Amos, as part of Amos Cassidy – the writing duo featuring yours truly and the fabulous Cassidy; aka Debbie Cassidy, I also go by the name Richard-James Amos. Cassidy and myself share a brain, but we also have some stories and things that linger in our heads that need to be told alone, not as the loopy twosome.
I’m a daydreamer, someone who likes to hop onto his dragon and take to the skies, off to see what I can find above and below and to the side. My head is always up there with the stars. One of them is a good friend of mine. His name is Bill and he’s a diamond! Oh, and he makes a mean cup of tea…knows how to get the balance of milk and tea just right…
I currently have a novel in progress, one that keeps me up at night – as do the coming Amos Cassidy projects! It looks like it might be a two-book story, but who knows where it will lead… Loving it! Oh, did I mention we’re currently working on Crimson Chaos, the 4th book in the Crimson Series? 😉 Also loving it!
I will keep you posted on my solo novel’s progress as the months roll by 😀 And keep an eye out for some short fiction and things from me on here too 🙂
Cheers very much!
Crimson Midnight Free For Easter!
Reflections on The Festival of Writing 2014… And some handy tips!
Reflections on The Festival of Writing, York, September 2014
(And some handy tips! :-D)
As many of you may know, we attended the The Festival of Writing last year. We packed up and headed to York for the weekend, making sure we had plenty of nibbles to hand for the train journey north. We hardly slept a wink the night before, worrying about our manuscript, our pitch, the journey. We desperately wanted it to be a success. Naively, we guess, we hoped that we would return with a literary agent in our pocket and that would be the end of that.
What happened was that we made some fab author friends, got to ask a bunch of burning questions to people who worked in the industry and attended a load of workshops that opened our eyes to several errors we were making – not only in our writing, but in our approach to traditional publishing.
We had our one-to-one sessions with agents and received some very positive feedback. By the end of the stay we had received four requests for full manuscripts.
We have since learned that an agent requesting a full manuscript does not guarantee an offer of representation. Having done some research, we found that on average an agent could request 100 – 200 full manuscripts a year. Out of this number maybe 5-10 will be selected for representation. Smaller agencies will have smaller numbers. So, as you can imagine, any manuscript would have to not only be exceptionally written, but also excite the agent on a personal level.
We have yet to receive that call. Until then, we continue to write. We know it will happen one day. We have learned so much over the past 6 months and we would like to share a few tips with you.
- Don’t just write for the market – The market is ever changing; even the publishers don’t know what will be hot next. You need to write what excites you. If you struggle to get into the story then how do you expect your readers to feel?
- Do not underestimate the importance of a solid covering letter – This is your first impression. If you are sloppy here then the agent will assume that your submission is sloppy. A lot of submissions are simply rejected because of a sloppy or untidy covering letter. Agents get hundreds of submissions; make sure you follow the guidelines so you don’t get added to the trash. Remember to address your letter to the agent personally and tell them why you have chosen them. Don’t go on and on about yourself unless the information is relevant to what you have written. For example, if you have written a Psychological Suspense and are a psychiatrist or have a MA in Psychology then by all means let them know. Otherwise, there is no need to go into detail. At this stage the agent simply wants to know about your novel and any writing history – publication in journals, magazines etc…
- Make your manuscript sparkle – Ideally you should stick your first draft in a drawer for a few weeks and come back to it. Go over it with a critical eye, self-editing it as you go. If you are unsure about grammar and punctuation there are loads of books and online tools on how to get to grips with it. Also, you can get it professionally edited. Otherwise, you can get it proof-read. Beta readers are always a good idea, they will look for plot holes and inconsistencies. A great resource of information is the ‘Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook Guide to Getting Published by Harry Bingham’
- Do your research – Agents are people too, they have likes and dislikes, they are not generic representation machines. What excites one agent may put another to sleep. Read their bio’s, do a little Twitter stalking and check out Writer’s Digest online. All invaluable in helping you make the decision about which agents to approach. Remember that an agent-author relationship is just that, a relationship, and it won’t work if you don’t have anything in common.
- Do make multiple submissions – You can submit to more than one agency at a time, but check their submission requirements as some like to be informed if you are doing this.
- Be patient – It can take on average up to 8 weeks to get a response to a submission, and if they request a full manuscript then there is another wait, anything from 1 month to 3. Every agency has their own guidelines as to times and acknowledgements, which is why submitting to more than one agent is a good idea.
- Never give up – Keep going. If you want to write then write and keep on doing it. We know what it’s like to feel down at times, but we can’t stop. Writing is in our blood. Never try and shut down that feeling of the love of telling a story as it will never go away. Embrace it and soldier on!
There are plenty of online resources with tips on how to formulate that perfect covering letter and how to format your completed manuscript. You are not alone. Having done a ton of research ourselves, we are happy to answer any questions you may have on the subject.
Writing Festivals and workshops are fantastic for making connections with like-minded people, picking up tips and expanding your mind. If you are serious about traditional publishing, and can afford to go, then we would highly recommend attending one.
Announcement – Goodbye, Indie Author Land…
Hi, everyone 🙂
Okay, so we have an announcement to make. We have removed all our work from publication. It is time, we feel, to keep pestering literary agents with our manuscripts, go down the traditional path and all that jazz. We’re rebooting, so to speak. But we’ll still be around. This blog will still be active and we’ll continue to promote and discuss all things indie author – we know how much hard work it is.
We have loved the ride and enjoyed self-publishing so much, but we want to go down this path now. We are working on another novel – a fantasy – which we are very excited about! And we have work out there doing the rounds with literary agents.
Massive thanks for all the love and support. Keep watching the skies for our books to come in the future.
Big love and hugs to all of you xxx
Amos and Cassidy
NEW RELEASE: Sleeping with Beauty (Tales from Beyond the Veil – Volume 3)
Here is volume 3 in the Tales from Beyond the Veil series, ‘Sleeping with Beauty’ 🙂 Now available on Amazon Kindle 🙂
Deep in the Forest of Forever, Silver lives an unremarkable life. Betrothed to the River Clan heir Riven, and the darling of her own clan, she is cosseted and pampered, until one day when her accidental eavesdropping alerts her to imminent danger. She flees her home, stumbling into the Ebony Forest and into the clutches of the twisted Vice.
Vice is man cursed, a man filled with nothing but emptiness and Silver is simply another plaything for his potential amusement.
Silver’s life is suddenly filled with unknown danger. She has only two choices; succeed in breaking the curse, or perish trying…
RIDING RED AND TAINTED SNOW REVIEWS!
Check out these awesome reviews of Riding Red and Tainted Snow by the fabulous Laura at: http://a-reader-lives-a-thousand-lives.blogspot.co.uk/
Click on the pictures below to take you to the reviews 🙂
The second volume in the Tales from Beyond the Veil Series…
AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON AND AMAZON UK
Princess Snow is adored by her people, her gentle and delicate nature means that she is spoken of with love and respect throughout the Kingdom of Crystal. Even her voracious sexual appetites do little to besmirch her name; all they do is make her human, relatable. Her life would be perfect if she wasn’t living in the magnificent shadow of her step-mother the Queen.
The Queen’s distaste for Snow is also a well-known fact, and the tortures she puts Snow through are many and varied. Her her distaste morphs into something more dangerous when Prince Zale – the Prince of Seas – chooses Snow over her. The Queen’s resulting actions set the course for a destruction that will leave little standing in its wake.
Will Snow find happiness, or will the curse placed upon her destroy her completely?
Check out our brand new novella ‘The Emporium’ 🙂
Available now on Amazon Kindle from AMAZON US and AMAZON UK.
Finally free of her abusive ex, Kara is enjoying a Greek vacation when she stumbles across The Emporium. It is a place full of visual delights, a place that is more than it seems, and a place where Kara will experience pleasures she had thought impossible. For when the mysterious Kincaid gets his hands on her supple flesh, her heart will never be the same.
The respite is over too soon and Kara returns home to England, to normality, until The Emporium appears in her home town and Kincaid is determined to finish what he started.
It seems that Kara has brought The Emporium with her. Little does she realise that she has brought something else also, a haunted being that only she can free from its eternal torment.
Kara’s life just went from mundane to magical…
*A novella of approximately 18K words*