If you want to be a writer ...

Learn the business

Because it is a business. We like to think of ourselves as artists, and our works as gems of creative genius (and why not!) but each gem has to tumble its way along the conveyor belt of the publishing industry before it gets to shine in public. Over the next few months I'm going to be talking to publishers, editors, agents, slush-pile readers, genre writers, proof-readers ... all the people who make the publishing industry work, and I'll share with you their stories, their insights and their advice to writers. I'm going to start with a teacher of writing, Linda Donovan, who quite possibly knows more about the fundamentals of style and good writing than anybody else I've ever met. Watch out for her interview tomorrow ...