Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Guest Post - Author Virginia Moffatt

I've asked one of my favourite writers Virginia back for a guest post (her post on my blog for her debut flash collection can be found here) as she has an exciting new project to talk about. I say new, but I know she's been working on this novel for a while as I was lucky enough to read an early part-draft of the book "Echo Hall". It's a book I really hope gets published and here's Virginia to tell you a bit more about the process and the book itself.

After ten years of writing  my novel, ‘Echo Hall’ and two years of submitting to agents and independent presses, I’ve finally been signed by the publisher Unbound.  I couldn’t be happier, and  I’m very grateful to Marc for inviting me here to tell you about it.
Unbound is a relatively new and unusual publisher. Formed in 2011 by three writers - Dan Kieran, Justin Pollard and John Mitchinson – it produces books by crowdfunding, inviting readers to get involved. The company is both a funding platform and a publisher, offering authors 50:50 royalties once the book achieves its target.
I first heard about Unbound in 2013, through Shaun Usher’s ‘Letters of Note’ twitterfeed.  I loved reading the letters on twitter so I was really pleased to hear they were going to be published.  ‘Letters of Note’ went on my Christmas list and I thought no more about the company until after my copy had arrived a few months later.
I was visiting my friends Hugh and Zoe one day, when Hugh rushed in hugely excited to have his hands on the copy of their friend’s Unbound book. That friend was Paul Kingsnorth, and the book, ‘The Wake’ has done extremely well. (Deservedly so, it’s a remarkable novel). At that point, I sat up and paid attention. Two great books in a few months suggested Unbound was on to something
After that I followed Unbound with interest, and though my first pitch to them was unsuccessful, I was delighted when my second was accepted by Scott Pack earlier this year. Although, the idea of raising the funds is daunting, I am also excited about the possibility of working with readers before the book is even produced. And, I love being part of this young, vibrant company, whose enthusiastic staff are all book fans and produce beautiful hardback and paperbacks.
I’m also delighted to have been signed by  Unbound, because I love the idea of working with readers to make the book happen. I’ve kept going with ‘Echo Hall’ for all these years because I really believe in my novel and am excited about finally getting it out into the world.

Set against the backdrop of three wars – the 1991 Gulf War, World War 2 and World War 1 – the novel follows the fortunes of three women who become involved with the Flint family, the owners of Echo Hall.

The book concerns the impact of unresolved conflict within families and nations, which asks does history always have to repeat itself, or can we find another way?  I have peopled it with characters who go to war, characters who don’t and I hope, as well as being a gripping yarn it will make readers think about the questions I’m raising. Although this is a book set in the past, it is very much a book of the present as the  origin of today’s wars in the Middle East can be traced right back to World War 1.

If you are interested in backing this book, it is easy. All you have to do is sign up to Unbound and pledge here https://unbound.co.uk/books/echo-hall.  (But be warned there are some great titles on there, pledging can be a bit addictive!)

If you are interested in pitching to Unbound, that too is easy. Just send your details via this link https://unbound.co.uk/authors/work-with-us.  Alternatively, it is worth following Associate Editor, Scott Pack (@meandmybigmouth) on twitter. Before Christmas he invited people to pitch to him directly and has promised to do it again. Really worth doing, it worked for me! 

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