Lin Le Versha’s Publication Journey
Lin Le Versha’s Publication Journey
Welcome to Lin Le Versha’s Publication Journey, another in the occasional series of guest posts by authors who reveal their journey to getting published. Lin’s journey led her to successful independent publishers Hobeck Books and a ‘Chill with a Book’ Premier Readers’ award.
Over to Lin:
How I got published by Lin Le Versha
They say, “Man plans, God laughs”, which is pretty much how I got two, and soon to be three, novels published. After a career teaching English and drama, school and sixth form college leadership and finally as a consultant, my husband and I retired to Suffolk. Unfortunately, our plans were destroyed when his cancer returned and, eighteen months after moving into our dream house, I found I was alone and had to re-think my life.
I had always written plays for my students to perform, as the play scripts for secondary school students had little relevance to their lives but turned them into costumed parrots. Commissioned to work with Anne Fine on The Granny Project for 11-14 year olds and, while at a sixth form college, Teaching at Post 16 for trainee and newly qualified teachers, I gained an insight into the process of publishing non-fiction but I wanted to write fiction.
Creative writing courses with students at the Arvon Foundation gave me the idea of going to Italy for a writing holiday where tutor Blake Morrison encouraged me to apply for a Creative Writing MA at UEA. The two-year, part-time crime writing course was outstanding. I joined a group of twelve students to share their writing, study crime novels and writing techniques in six short residentials and online, then produced a complete novel for the final submission. The tutors’ feedback was valuable, but the experience of being ‘workshopped’ with constructive criticism by my fellow students, invaluable.
I re-wrote parts of Blood Notes and started the long process of trying to get it published. An excellent free online course from the National Centre for Writing in Norwich gave me a blow-by-blow understanding of the ways to get published with an agent, an independent publisher or through self-publishing. Jericho Writers month of online sessions on how to get published was also excellent, particularly the interviews with writers who got published through a variety of routes, and their agent match data base provided a list of agents who were looking for crime books like mine. Then came the frustration of sending in the samples of my novel – all in slightly different ways – the first 10,000 words, the first three chapters, a specified number of pages and the synopsis and letter. This took months and I was about to give up when I discovered Hobeck Books.
Their website describes their values – Trad values, Indie spirit – and Adrian Hobart and Rebecca Collins came across as professional, well-qualified, experienced and my blood group. They accepted the full manuscript and asked me to change what I realised was an embarrassing info-dump in chapter three then re-submit. How exciting was the zoom meeting where they said they would publish my book and suggested it would make a good series!
Publishing with them has been brilliant and suits me perfectly. I send in an almost final draft, make the changes which Rebecca suggests, provide more jeopardy for Adrian, check with my police consultant that I’ve got the procedural bits right (who would guess the complex palaver of including an undercover cop, don’t they just appear on TV?) then I send it in for editing. The copy editor is so impressive – spotting tiny inconsistencies that I’ve failed to notice in, for example, the timing of action in the novel and even between the two so far published, as well as odd typos and punctuation.
Rebecca and Adrian organise the cover design, write the blurb and produce a video for social media, involving me in all stages. Then following publication, they arrange a blog tour of reviewers on social media and websites with many of them posting on Amazon and Good Reads. I’ve been so lucky in finding and being published by these two entrepreneurial publishers who work so hard and care about their “family” of authors.
Lin is now a writer, living with her dog Bertie and cat Trollope in the beautiful county of Suffolk. She has drawn on her experience in London and Surrey schools and colleges for inspiration for the Steph Grant crime series which now includes two books, Blood Notes and Blood Lines, with a third, Blood Ties, to be published in February 2023. She is the Director of the Southwold Arts Festival, an annual eight-day celebration of the arts which has run, with a Covid interruption, since 2014.
Twitter – @linleversha
Facebook – lin.leversha.5
About Lin’s Books
Winner of a 2022 Chill With A Book Premier Reader’s Award!
‘A wonderful, witty, colourful, debut ‘Whodunnit’, with a gripping modern twist set in the dark shadows of a Suffolk town.’ EMMA FREUD
Blood Notes is a brilliant and powerful contemporary whodunnit dealing with themes of teenage desire, jealousy and betrayal.
Edmund Fitzgerald is different. Sheltered by an over-protective mother, he’s a musical prodigy. Now, against his mother’s wishes, he’s about to enter formal education for the first time aged sixteen. Everything is alien to Edmund: teenage style, language and relationships are impossible to understand.
Then there’s the searing jealousy his talent inspires, especially when the sixth form college’s Head of Music turns her back on her other students and begins to teach Edmund exclusively.
Observing events is Steph, a former police detective who is rebuilding her life as the college receptionist. When a student is found dead in the music block, Steph’s sleuthing skills help to unravel the dark events engulfing the college community.
‘This wonderfully fresh take on a crime fighting duo, expertly explores dark, contemporary themes brought to life by a fabulous cast of character who will stay with you long after the last page.’ GRAHAM BARTLETT
Eighteen-year-old Darcy Woodard appears to have it all – intelligence, good looks and artistic gifts. His teachers adore him, as does former policewoman Steph Grant, who is now the receptionist at Darcy’s college.
But beneath the surface, all is not as it seems. Darcy is convinced he doesn’t fit in with his peers and tries to ignore their online taunts.
There’s Darcy’s dysfunctional mother Esther who is trapped in a literary time warp. Then there’s his sister Marianne, who Darcy desperately wants to protect from the dark forces that surround her. Then tragedy rocks Darcy’s life when a drugs gang forces its way into his life and all the people he cares for.
What can Steph and her former boss DI Hale do to protect the local community? And can they really trust Darcy to help them defeat the county lines gang?
I hope you enjoyed Lin Le Versha’s Publication Journey. Here are links to previous authors who have written their Publication Journey stories for the blog: