Category Archives: children’s fantasy

Publication day for THE DARK INSIDE

Rupert Wallis    The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallis

Huge congratulations to Rupert Wallis on the publication of his debut novel, THE DARK INSIDE.

As part of Simon & Schuster’s blog week, today Rupert will talk about his experience of the publishing process. You can read the blog post on So Many Books, So Little Time.

‘What my editor, Jane, helped me to do was tease out some of the story elements that were lurking in the background, almost as if I was adjusting the equalizer settings on a stereo, toning up certain aspects such as: the relationships between the characters, the world of the story, and some of the darker, more magical elements.  What I have learnt from this is that a writer needs to be very clear about how they want their story to be so they can justify its content when challenged.  Having a good working relationship with an editor is key and I was very lucky to be able to work with Jane who helped me see things about my manuscript I had not noticed before’  – Rupert Wallis

S&S blog schedule:

  • 27th Jan – Fiction Fascination (1024 / 1448 Twitter) – Rupert on writing The Dark Inside
  • 28th Jan – The Book Babblers (4296 Twitter) – Madeleine Milburn on discovering the book
  • 29th Jan Feeling Fictional (1165 / 2393 Twitter) – Jane Griffiths on editing The Dark Inside
  • 30th Jan – So Many Books, So Little Time (801 / 762 Twitter) – Rupert on the publishing process as an author
  • 31st Jan – Once Upon a Bookcase (651 /809 Twitter) – Paul on designing the cover for The Dark Inside
  • 1st Feb – Wondrous Reads (1689 / 4856 Twitter) – Kat on marketing a book like The Dark Inside
  • 2nd Feb –Books For Company (2182 / 998 Twitter) – Blogger questions and answers from Rupert

THE DARK INSIDE is out now in bookstores and on Amazon.


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3 days ’til Christmas: The Literary Agency Advent Calendar

In the run up to Christmas, the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency will be posting an entry from one of our authors each day, offering anything from writing tips and their inspiration, to Christmas memories and their wishes for the year to come.

L.A. Jones

L.A. Jones

I have a confession to make. I sit and talk to people who don’t exist.

And no, I don’t have a mental problem (probably.)

I’m a writer.

If you’re one too then you probably do the same, because often the characters in our books are the closest thing to a social interaction that we get in our daily work lives!

Which is why my number one Christmas tip for other writers, if you haven’t already, is to join a local writing group. I’ve just come from Exeter SCBWI’S annual Christmas meet-up. (A good excuse for a bunch of book-obsessed people to eat, drink and talk writing without watching multiple eyes glazing over.)

And it got me thinking. Christmas is about being able to enjoy the festivities with people that you care about, to relax, to have fun, but also to look back on the year you’ve had, whether it be a good or a bad one, and decide what you can do to make the next year even better.

(Here’s where I talk about new year’s resolutions!) Making the decision to get involved with my local writing group was mine four years ago, and it’s the best thing I could have done for my writing. We meet every month, sometimes more, for word-count competitions and general chit-chat. We vent to each other when we hit a brick wall in our novels, we celebrate each other’s successes, and we help one another prepare manuscripts for submission. Through this group, I’ve met countless other writers who are just as enthused about books and writing as I am, and I’ve also become a member of two critique groups. The support I’ve received from these has been absolutely invaluable. Writing, whether published or unpublished, can be an emotional rollercoaster, and it helps to have friends that truly understand the process, to accompany you on your journey. Not only this, but being part of a critique group has seriously improved my writing and editing skills. The saying, ‘you can’t see the wood through the trees’ has never been more true, as often I can see that there’s something not working in my novel, but I can’t pinpoint what it is. Usually, it’s something so simple, that a critique partner will spot it immediately.

So if you’re not already a member of a writing group, make this your new year’s resolution for 2014. I promise you won’t regret it.

Happy Christmas!

RISE OF THE SHADOWMARES by L.A. Jones, the sequel to her award-winning debut THE NIGHTMARE FACTORY, is out now.

The Rise of the Shadowmares by L.A. Jones

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5 days ’til Christmas: The Literary Agency Advent Calendar


In the run up to Christmas, the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency will be posting an entry from one of our authors each day, offering anything from writing tips and their inspiration, to Christmas memories and their wishes for the year to come.


Anne Cameron

Christmas is my favourite time of the year.  I love the fact that it gets dark well before the six o’clock news, that I can eat my breakfast in the glow of twinkling fairy lights and snuggle up with a good book before a roaring (or in my case electric) fire.  Mince pies, the smell of pine needles, last minute shopping with a brass band playing all my favourite Christmas carols… 

There can never be enough jingle in my Christmas!

My adoration of the festive season started at an early age.  It was a love so strong, in fact, that it couldn’t be shaken by the shock revelation on Christmas Eve, when I was four-years-old, that Father Christmas didn’t exist. My brother delivered the bombshell with the kind of glee that only an older sibling in possession of toxic information can muster.

But it couldn’t be true!  He had to be lying!  And I was determined to prove him wrong….

I waited by the window, searching the skies for telltale signs of flying reindeer.  I listened for the soft thud of hooves on our roof and the jingle of those very special bells and finally, convinced that I’d heard them, I raced off to bed, confidence restored.

Christmas was back on!

The reindeer had taken flight and I was surely about to receive a visit from the man with the white beard and the stash of presents.  All I needed to be absolutely certain was one tiny glimpse of the red suit itself.  The clock ticked by as I waited, my eyelids drooped but I clung to consciousness armed with the knowledge that my brother would pay for his cruel joke.  And then… the door was opening.  I snapped into fake sleep mode as something stocking-shaped was draped across the foot of my bed.  I peeked, just for a fraction of a second… and the awful, bauble-shattering truth came crashing down upon my head.

Unless Santa had started delegating deliveries to my mum, Christmas was sunk.

I recovered…. eventually.

And my love of all things Christmassy has somehow endured over the years.  Perhaps that’s why I’ve sprinkled the second book in my Lightning Catcher series with enough snow to sink a small island?  Could it also explain my excessive use of knitwear, pompoms, snow boots and stodgy puddings?  Is it possible, in fact, that I have allowed my yearning for the perfect, shockproof, Santa-encompassing Christmas to inspire an entire book?

Let me grab my Rudolf slippers and I’ll give it some serious thought!

LIGHTNING CATCHER: THE STORM TOWER THIEF, the second book in the action-packed Lightning Catcher series by Anne Cameron, is out in May 2014.

The Storm Tower Thief by Anne Cameron

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