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Tony Black is an award-winning journalist who has written for most of the UK's national newspapers. He is the author of Paying for It, Gutted, Loss and Long Time Dead.
Can you sum up your book in no more than 25 words?
An Edinburgh-set police thriller exploring the murder of a young mother and the disappearance of her baby daughter.
How much difference does an editor make?
To a new author an editor makes all the difference; an editor can make an unpublishable novel publishable. I have been spared many blushes by excellent editors. As my writing has progressed I've needed an editor less, but another person's perspective can be very useful to any author. I'd never publish in any format without professional editing.
How much difference does a good cover make?
All the difference -- it's a cliche that you shouldn't judge the book by the cover, but everybody does. It's an artform; for too long major publishers have relied on tried and tested shots from Getty images -- the eBook packagers are pushing the boat out, however, and we're seeing some real creativity in these covers.
What's the best piece of craft advice you've been given?
Exclamation marks are like laughing at your own jokes!
What's the best piece of business advice you've been given?
Don't leave the publicity to your publisher -- do all you can yourself.
What's your favourite part of the writing process?
The actual writing; I don't get much out of planning, or plotting, or editing ... I like the aspect of carving out the words. Making the sentences come together and sing.
What aspects of marketing your books do you enjoy?
The actual events. Meeting the public is always rewarding because how else are you going to really know what people think? Writing is a lonely profession and it's one of the few opportunities writers actually have to meet the people buying their product.
What are you reading now?
I've just finished a book but next on my list is Ray Banks' California.
What's your view on eBook pricing?
There is some overpricing, but maybe that's balanced out by underpricing. These things always find their own level though so we're probably going to see them meet in the middle in future.
Do you read outside of the crime genre?
I do, very regularly. I am a big fan of William McIlvanney's work and I regularly read his novels. The Kiln and Weekend are works of genius; nobody has the ability to dissect society like McIlvanney -- he sees beyond all the lazy axioms people live their lives by and exposes the rotten crap beneath.
Truth Lies Bleeding by Tony Black
Amazon UK, Amazon US