One of the easiest jobs I had when I was a sales rep was selling Simon Scarrow’s books to booksellers. Of course, the writing is superb, but so much of that first book, Under the Eagle, had everything it needed to become a bestselling series. A great premise, a great package, and Simon knew exactly who his readers were. Lots to absorb in this one! I was joined by guest co-presenter Julian Barr, whose own fantastical historical fiction is definitely worth checking out. Have a look here!
Tag: Back To Reality
Peter May on the Bestseller Experiment
Peter May has this uncanny knack of peeking into the near future, writing about it, and getting it right. He did it with his novel Lockdown, which was about a SARS-like pandemic. It was rejected by all the major publishers for being unrealistic… Those same publishers clamoured to buy it when Covid changed all our lives. He’s done it again with his novel A Winter Grave, which is set in a near future that’s been ravaged by climate change.
If this all sounds a bit grim, don’t worry. Me and my guest co-presenter Caimh McDonnell do a good job of lowering the tone with some grounded writing advice. And this is the episode where I reveal why Caimh is thanked in the credits of Unwelcome.
Oh, and if you’re watching the Youtube version, have fun spotting the moments where my internet dropped out and either me or Caimh have baffled expressions on our faces…
Lou Abercrombie on the Bestseller Experiment
I was rubbish at Maths at school, so it would have been wonderful to have to something like Lou Abercrombie‘s book AMAZING MATHS when I was a wee lad. Lou tells me about this new book and her fab children’s novels, FIG SWIMS THE WORLD and COMING UP FOR AIR and how she’s inspired by water.
And if that wasn’t enough, listeners/viewers also get a sneak peek at a special Deep Dive I recorded a very long time ago when director Jon Wright and I answered listener questions on the making of our film UNWELCOME. That Deep Dive goes live on Friday, which is the same day as the film’s release in the UK! Which are you more excited about…???
Cole Haddon on the Bestseller Experiment
It’s common for authors to experience failure and rejection, but if you really want to know what it’s like to be constantly knocked back, then be a screenwriter! So many of the scripts I’ve written will never see the light of day, but that’s all part of the fun of screenwriting. I was delighted to discover that even a writer as successful as Cole Haddon has had the same bumps in the road, but he’s embraced failure as the best way to learn and move forward. Enjoy…
Christian Cameron on the Bestseller Experiment
A rare thing these days: an in-person interview for the podcast! I got to meet the delightful Christian Cameron in the bowels of Hachette’s big publishing castle near Blackfriars Bridge. We discuss worldbuilding, research, and learning to write without doubting yourself (something I’m not sure I’ll ever get the hang of). Also, before the interview, Me and Mr D discuss AI and how it might impact authors over the coming years…
SPECIAL CHRISTMAS EPISODE OF THE BESTSELLER EXPERIMENT!
We don our terrible Christmas sweaters and hats to celebrate the festive season and look forward to 2023. I test Mr D with a super-duper mega quiz, we discover that Americans don’t have Christmas crackers, we reveal where Santa comes from, tell terrible jokes, and we discuss taking stock and setting goals for 2023… and much more! Available on all the usual podcast providers or you can watch it on Youtube on the link below for the full Technicolor Christmas experience…
Margaret Weis on the Bestseller Experiment
Every now and then on the podcast we ask our listeners who they would love have on as a guest, and Margaret Weis was one of those names, so I was delighted when she took the time to speak to me about her extraordinary career. We dispelled a few myths about the origins of Dragonlance, we talked about her collaboration with Tract Hickman, and how she continues to be inspired by the likes of Dickens and Austen. She also answers our listener question
Please note: My interview with Margaret took place on the phone, so our conversation on the Youtube version of this episode is audio only.
Oh and stay right to the end for a few outtakes from me and Mr D (it had been a long week)…
I should also add that the Bestseller Academy is about to open its doors again. Pop along to https://academy.bestsellerexperiment.com to discover more, or take a moment to listen to some of the writers who have achieved their writing goals with the academy here…
Elizabeth Noble on the Bestseller Experiment
I had a great time chatting to Elizabeth Noble on this week’s podcast and she talks about writing novels with huge casts and big families and lots of moving parts etc. And before that, me and Mr D talk about the recent ALCS report that showed that UK’s authors earn only an average of £7,000 a year from their writing, and a bit in Private Eye that noted that so many of our big brand male authors (and their characters) are all getting quite long in the tooth… so where are the new big brands coming from?
Harriet Tyce on the Bestseller Experiment
Great to chat with Harriet Tyce on the podcast, especially about “going too far” as an author. How far is too far for you?
We also pay tribute to Marcus Sedgwick who recently passed away far too young at the age of 54.
You can listen on all the usual podcast providers, and here’s the Youtube version…
Ten Things About Me
The lovely people at the Hair Past A Freckle asked if I could tell them ten things about me as part of the blog tour for The Crow Folk, so here goes…