About Me

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are not available as e-books at present, but I expect to get them back online shortly. However, I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Cloak of Challiver

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

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Monday, 2 April 2012

Do you know about Writer Beware?

A client recently wrote to me asking if it was OK for an agent who was interested in his MS to offer an assessment – at a price. My ‘Writer Beware’ antennae went up at once.

By and large, it's considered unprofessional for an agent to try to sell services to potential clients. There are many, many agents around - some with the best of intentions but with very little professionalism - who add extra services to their practice because the agency itself isn't making enough to live on. That being the case, can that person be the best possible agent for you? I suspect not. Personally I think full MS assessments are a waste of money in any case. I only offer 'mini-assessments' because you can usually see a writer's main problems within the first twenty pages or so. After that, the process turns into mentoring while the writer improves his or her skills prior to a full edit.

Remember, too, that you can go on altering a book in line with conflicting advice until you've actually wrecked the story. No two critiquers will ever agree completely on what's needed to 'fix' a book, and quite often their views will be diametrically opposed. Ultimately, you have to rely on your own judgement. So take all advice – whether you’ve paid for it or not – with a pinch of salt.

If in doubt as to an agent’s credentials, check out Writer Beware. This highly respected website tells you just what you should and shouldn't get from an agent. Every writer should be aware of Writer Beware - it's one of the best sites for learning some of the ins and outs of the publishing game.

It's also not a bad idea to Google for an agent's name before submitting to see if anyone complains of bad experiences with the agency in question. The whole publishing game, including agents, is fraught with traps for the unwary.

Getting a foot in the door with a reputable agent has always been hard and at present seems to be almost impossible. But perhaps you don’t really need an agent. In Australia, Penguin, Allen & Unwin, Hachette and Momentum (a new e-book arm of PanMacmillan) are all currently open to unagented subs, as are several small presses. Good luck!

4 comments:

Helen V. said...

Useful reminders, Satima.

Jo said...

The more I read, the more I am glad I am not a writer. When I see the problems of already published writers not being able to get published and read all the things that people experience, no thanks.

Satima Flavell said...

Yes, writing can be a very frustrating profession to aspire to or to engage in! But, as you've shown with your wonderful blog, there is more than one way to pluck a chook:-).

Satima Flavell said...

You're right, Helen - WB has to be one of the best resources around and we need to remember to check it now and then!

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