Bestselling Author Leigh Russell’s Advice to Aspiring Writers

Author Leigh Russell writes the bestselling series of crime thrillers featuring detective Geraldine Steel. Her novels are CUT SHORT (2009); ROAD CLOSED (2010); and  DEAD END (2011). Leigh generously shares tips for aspiring writers in her guest post below.


Guest Post by Leigh Russell

Author Leigh Russell

We hear so much these days about how difficult it is to become a published author, it’s a wonder anyone even tries. I hope my experience will encourage aspiring authors!

I was never particularly interested in being published and didn’t even start writing until my fifties – but once started I couldn’t stop. Four years on I’m still hooked and find it difficult to go a single day without writing.

My history is well documented. The original draft of what became my first novel was completed in six weeks. I submitted the manuscript to three publishers without any expectations of hearing back. You can imagine my surprise when I was called two weeks later by someone who is now my publisher.

The rest, as they say, is history.

My debut crime thriller was shortlisted for a major award, and received enthusiastic reviews in numerous journals, including The Times and US Publishers Weekly. It got me an invitation to appear at an international literary festival, a string of BBC radio interviews, accolades from such luminaries as Jeffery Deaver…

I was thrilled to be invited to write a guest post here, offering advice to aspiring writers. Here goes…

Work hard. Make sure your submission is as good as it can be, because you face stiff competition.

Be brave. As an author, you stick your head above the parapet. If you don’t welcome constructive criticism, publication is not for you.

Be lucky. Who knows? This time next year you too could be the author of a bestselling novel!

Join Leigh in France, where she will spend a week in October, running Creative Writing workshops. Click on the link to find out more. To keep abreast of Leigh’s work, follow her on Twitter @LeighRussell.

Leigh Russell's latest crime thriller