Penny Alexander Writer
Raymond Allan Script writer, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em
Jeffery Archer Novelist
Teresa Ashby Short-story Writer
Judy Astley Novelist
Suzanne Baboneau Publishing Director, Simon & Schuster
Keith Barker-Main Author
Lynne Barrett-Lee Novelist
Jane Bidder (Sophie King) Novelist
Daniel Blythe Novelist
Amanda Brookfield Novelist
Elizabeth Buchan Novelist
Michael Buerk Writer, Journalist and Broadcaster
Michael Bywater Author and Journalist
Caroline Caughey Publisher
Mavis Cheek Novelist
Tracy Chevalier Novelist
Teresa Chris Literary agent
Jilly Cooper Novelist
Robert Crampton Journalist
Cari Crook Writer, Creative Writing Tutor
Chris d'Lacey Children's Author
Merric Davidson Literary Agent
Gaynor Davies Fiction Editor, Woman's Weekly
Joanne Dickinson Editorial Director, Sphere
Broo Doherty Literary Agent
Emily Dubberley Writer and journalist
Sarah Duncan Novelist
Barbara Erskine Novelist
Flic Everett Writer and journalist
Barbara Ewing Novelist and Actor
Katie Fforde Novelist
Frederick Forsyth Novelist
Grainne Fox Literary Agent
Jonny Geller Literary Agent and Author
Mel Giedroyc Writer and Performer
Lesley Gleeson Writer & jeweller
Caroline Graham Novelist and Playwright. Author of Midsomer Murders.
Jane Gregory Literary Agent
Lynne Hackles Writer and Creative Writing Tutor
Jenny Haddon Novelist
Maeve Haran Novelist and Journalist
Kate Harrison Novelist, Script Writer and Journalist
Sarah Harrison Novelist and Author of How to Write a Blockbuster
Jan Henley Freelance Writer
Sherise Hobbs Editor, Headline
Wendy Holden Novelist
Lesley Horton Novelist
Sue Houghton Freelance Writer
Karen Howeld Journalist and Writer
Mick Hume Journalist
Lisa Jewell Novelist
Alice Jolly Novelist and Creative Writing Tutor
Catherine Jones Novelist
Jane Judd Literary Agent
Margaret Kaine Author
Bernardine Kennedy Novelist
Miles Kington Writer, Broadcaster and Columnist
Bernard Knight Novelist
Dorothy Koomson Novelist and Journalist
Helen Lederer Actress and Author
Judith Lennox Novelist
Ariel Leve Journalist
P.D.R. Lindsay Short Story Writer
Francesca Liversidge Ex Publishing Director, Transworld Publishers
Hilary Lloyd Novelist and Short Story Writer
Jonathan Lloyd Literary Agent
Kate Long Novelist
Jill Mansell Novelist
Carole Matthews Novelist
Tamara McKinley Novelist
Catherine Merriman Novelist and Creative Writing Tutor
Mil Millington Author
Santa Montefiore Novelist
Sue Moorcroft Novelist and Creative Writing Tutor
Richard Morrison Journalist & columnist
Biddy Nelson Short-Story Writer
Freya North Novelist
Marina O'Loughlin Restaurant Critic
Susan Opie Publisher
Adele Parks Novelist
Lesley Pearse Novelist
Margaret Penfold Novelist
Judy Piatkus Publisher
Sara-Jade Piper Book-buyer
Hugh C. Rae/Jessica Stirling Novelist
Eileen Ramsey Novelist
Ian Rankin Novelist
Amanda Ross TV Producer, founder of Richard & Judy Book Club
Alan Samson Publisher, Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Zoë Sharp Photojournalist and Author
Liz Smith Fiction Editor, My Weekly
Carole Stone Author and Networker
June Tate Novelist
Bill Tidy Writer and Cartoonist
Rebecca Tope Novelist
Simon Trewin Literary Agent
Fiona Walker Novelist and Journalist
Kate Walker Novelist
Pam Weaver Short Story Writer
Melanie Whitehouse Journalist, Writer and Editor
Julia Williams Novelist
Jacqueline Wilson Children's author and Children's Laureate 2005-2007
Isabel Wolff Journalist and Author
Irene Yates Author, educational books
— June Tate
I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you how fantastic "Wannabe a Writer?" was… reading your very honest and funny assessment of the whole writing / publishing process made me feel much more hopeful about getting an agent etc and it also put it all in perspective for me.
And it's made me want to read your novels too so that has to be a good thing!
— Sasha Wagstaff
— Susan Humphreys
I'd just like to say thank you so much for writing your book 'Wanna be a Writer?' I thought it was the best book on writing I have ever read (apart from Stephen King's On Writing). I drank in every single word, and after numerous false starts on my novel 'Poppy', I have finally got the plot sorted and have written over 10,000 words in just a few weeks, (I probably would have got more written if I wouldn't have been so engrossed in your book!)
I've just bought 'One Glass is Never Enough' from Amazon and can't wait to get started reading it. I'm now going to order the rest of your books from Amazon before my husband realises we still have money in the bank :)
Thanks for the inspiration.
— Jennifer Nolan-Gill
I have read a few writing books but have to tell you that I found yours the most encouraging and inspirational so far and the contributions were excellent. I feel I can forge ahead now, with more confidence that I'm headed in the right direction and at least be able to give the impression I have the slightest clue about it all.
So, thank you.
— Stella Sloane
I'm part way through Wannabe a Writer and I just had to email to tell you how funny it is! I'm really enjoying it!
I got my copy at the launch after reading about it on Kate Walker's blog. At the time I had intended to hide it away and take it on holiday next week. However, I received my first agent rejection the day before the launch so as soon as I got home I read the hiliarious chapters on how to find an agent. I felt so inspired that I fired off another four queries that weekend. Two have already responded with rejections! I'd previously been submitting to Mills & Boon for four years so hadn't bothered looking for an agent until this year.
Having read the agent bits – and got exams out of the way – I am now working my way through the rest of the book in an orderly fashion and am totally loving it!
Thanks very much for writing it! And thanks also for the launch where I spent at least an hour chatting to Katie Fforde, Sarah Duncan and Maria McCarthy!
— Nikki Cole
I just wanted to pop you a line to say thank you the event you held at Borders on Saturday. My fiance and myself found it very useful and gained alot of knowledge from the authors we talked to.
I now have the encouragement I need to get my book ready to approach agents and your book is really, really good, as well as hilarious to read.
Many thanks again and I hope our paths will cross again.
— Paula Cassady
I thought I would drop you a note, mainly to say "thank you" for writing WBAW! I stumbled across the book via a community I belong to called Musemuggers on Livejournal. It is a weekly "prompt" writing community and one of our weekly prompts recently was from the WBAW site (write 1000 words story competition etc) – and from there I followed the details through and bought your book (one more sale, hoot!) from Waterstones on Piccadilly (if you speak to them, tell them to have more than one copy on the shelf!). I need to buy 2 more for various friends of mine who need a swift kicking to get going on their writing.
Back to you though. And again, to say thanks for probably one of the best books on a) being a writer b) being a crazy person wanting to write and c) how to get there, including the various pitfalls, especially writers butt. Inspiring stuff and hilarious, but more importantly, very real and close to the bone. I freely admit that I have not read any of your other books, but that I do follow some of your columns you write (mainly Writing Magazine) and do enjoy them. You are very talented and had me sniggering to myself on the train, which guaranteed an empty seat next to me all the way home – always a result. It also had me working vigorously on my own writings so the muse definitely responded very well to the kicking you gave her via the book. Thanks!
The book has been a boon and as I said, I would recommend it to existing authors, wannabe writers and more importantly, to those who love reading but never give the writing process a second thought. Best wishes (and yes, I will remedy the fact that I only own ONE of your books this coming payday – again from Waterstones on Piccadilly).
— Liz de Jager
— Mercedes Grayshon
— Justine Machin – Aspiring Author!
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What Jane Says
I vowed, when I was a much-rejected wannabe, that when I was published I would tell the truth about how long it took and how difficult it was…
Nobody fought over my manuscript. Rather, they unplugged their phones, switched email addresses, took long sabbaticals on the other side of the world and instructed their assistants to tell me they'd died of a rare and sudden tropical disease.
My file marked: "AGENTS – those who've said sod off" – bulged and broke its seams. Publishers cowed from my offers of sexual favours, and remained unmoved when I chained myself to their railings.
I wept, wailed, got horribly drunk and spent £156.98 on postage. I did strange spells, took up chanting, consulted psychics, threatened to hang myself from the shower-rail if I didn't get a book-deal and took to stalking.
What I didn't do was give up. I was determined to get that novel published, even if it meant rolling up to my launch party with no teeth and a colostomy bag. I think we can safely say I was obsessed.
And published it was. I did sell it in the end, on a gloriously ecstatic, champagne-soaked day in August 2000 but it was by a long, circuitous and torturous route.
I kept going because after all the joy, elation, tears and liver damage I'd suffered writing an entire manuscript – don't believe anyone who says it's easy – I didn't want it wasted. Many have seen this attitude as a strength but it is also one of my failings. Sometimes you do have to waste things. As a writer you need a built-in crap-o-meter and an iron nerve to discard all the stuff that doesn't work.
But first and foremost you need determination. If faint heart never won fair lady it certainly didn't get a book deal either. If you too, are on the point of cutting your throat because nobody wants to publish you, hold off until you've read this book. It might change your life.
Or if you've always wanted to write, but have never quite got round to it, this could be just the spur you need.
And if you've no interest in writing at all and have only read this far because it's raining outside the bookshop and you've got twenty minutes to kill before the bus comes, don't be such a skinflint.
Buy it anyway and give it to someone for Christmas. I could do with the sales.