Now as much as I'd like to to claim my literary success is all down to ME, ME, ME!!! I'm afraid that would be a bloody, big, fat LIE!
So, let's discuss the woman behind me getting a few books on the shelves, Sarah Davies (strips on the left, the one in leopard print is Julia, her right hand woman).
Sarah and I met through a writing competition (Undiscovered Voices). She was one of the judges and I one of the fortunate winners. That was back in the day when 'Devil's Kiss' was still called 'God's Killer'. We met and chatted and soon after I joined Greenhouse Literary Agency. At that point the Greenhouse comprised me and Sarah and her dog.
Sarah took my manuscript by the throat and tore it apart, pointing out a looong series of swordfights do not a novel make. Now, Sarah knew what she was doing. Before she was an agent she'd worked long and hard as a publisher and her editing skills remain second to none. She will make your book better, much much better.
She'll be blunt when she needs to be, comforting those moments when you wonder why on earth you decided to choose this career over, say, being a bomb disposal expert. She's be the first with the good news (you have a book deal!) and first with the whip (rewrite it until it SHINES!) and pretty much everything in between.
She will make you walk the hard road but will walk it with you.
Though it's my name on the cover the books I've written have a large amount of Sarah's DNA entwined into every page. I kinda feel bad it is only my name but hey, I'm needy.