One question keeps coming up "What advice would give to somebody who wanted to be a writer?"
For a long time, I tried to be positive and said "Write what you want to be known for, not as a copy of somebody."
I look back at the last three years and one thing has stuck with me. This point is something my editor, Julia, and I differ over.
My answer formed from watching rising writers and sales, as somebody on the bottom of the pile is:-
1) Get a degree- people will listen to you.
2) Get a well paid job- this will enable you to pay to have work published in print and put in stores.
Because you have a degree, people will assume -- as I did -- that you can write. This is a wrong assumption, I will demonstrate my point.
If you have the money to get published and the degree to impress people with, you can publish any rubbish (polite version) you wish to.
Book A) The writer has a BA in Criminal Studies.
I was asked to re-edit the book after it had come back from Xlibris.
On the first page, there was a 25 line paragraph with no punctuation and the capitalization of words was both wrong and inconsistent. I had so many corrections to do, I ended up with a severe migraine from re-writing the page.
Book B) I don't know what degree this writer has, but he is apparently a top salesman and decided to write a book about his exploits.
I spotted about 20 grammar errors in the first 15 pages, including pre-fixing a word starting with R, with the word 'an.'
I was asked to review the book, as I am an award winning writer. The story took 15 pages to carry the lead man from his bedroom to the bath room, the highlight was he got calls telling him various excuses for not going to work.
The story's main flaw was it lacked continuity. Each paragraph had no inherent link to the previous one, rather like changing from 1st to 3rd gear without going into 2nd.
This book had apparently been edited THREE times.