Ivy Ngeow has written some of the How to Write material we use on here and the Top Writing Courses site. She won the Proverse (Hong Kong) international prize for her first novel Cry of the Flying Rhino, and her new novel Heart of Glass is out in a week! Very exciting. See her video trailer for this book here:
I first read his SF when I found a copy of Use of Weapons in a newsagent remaindered books bin. A good one to start with. I also discovered Adam Roberts in a remainder bookshop, with Land of the Headless.
It is a finished and agent-edited thrilling novel about crime in Chicago and Macau, near Hong Kong China. You make a pledge (pre-purchase) and get your name in the credits inside the book. If the pre-sales don’t get to the target figure, the crowdfund stops, and you get all your money back, so there is no risk.
It is set in an anxious time, when Ronald Reagan became President of the United States, who was seen as very inexperienced. There were problems with Russia, which was still Communist at the time (and was the USSR – how long ago that sounds!). Of course, now we have Trump, Russian problems, etc. Perhaps there are historical parallels? You’ll have to read it to find out.
The way the crowdfunding works is that the publisher remove their risk by making the author raise the full cost of the first print run, before they publish it. The figures are high – £4000 for Ivy Ngeow’s novel, and can be much higher for non-fiction books or very long illustrated novels. This is a lot of pre-sales. Once it has succeeded, the publisher will take it on as a ‘normal’ book and market it via their channels. Unbound (Penguin) had a big hit last year with The Good Immigrant (essays) and have many successful books out. So support our own writer here: Crowdfund novel Heart of Glass by Ivy Ngeow here >
There is a good interview in The Irish Examiner with the great and celebrated writer Hanif Kureishi (link at bottom).
He discusses the value of writing courses, which is not always immediately apparent. He compares fiction with rock and roll this might be wishful thinking as he always liked that side of culture. Kuresihi wrote The Buddha of Suburbia which was later filmed for TV with David Bowie providing the music. He also weighs into the Brexit debate. People forget that large-scale immigration did not start with the EU. Britain is a reasonably peaceful place, which largely ignores new groups and lets them get on with it. Whether that changes now is to be seen.