Exciting news: I am now a member of the Crime Writers’ Association! (Look to the left for their stylishly chilling – or chillingly stylish – dagger logo.) I have always felt a bit fraudulent calling myself a crime writer, given the lack of blood and gore in the Sam Plank books (mainly because I don’t like reading that stuff, let alone writing it) but of course crime isn’t just physical. More than anyone, I should know the damage that financial crime can cause and the impact it can have – and so here I am, a fully-fledged Crime Writer.
I’ll be honest: my primary motivation for joining the CWA was selfish. I want to rub shoulders with the best practitioners of the trade and learn from them, and I want to take advantage of the guidance and publicity offered to members of the CWA. But joining up fits neatly with my resolution to become, well, not a professional writer, but certainly more professional in my approach to writing.
And completing their application form was a good indication of what constitutes a professional approach. I had to tell them my sales figures, explain which professional services I used during publication (yes to cover design, no to editing and proof-reading – both of these are done for me by helpful amateurs), and tell them about my website, social media presence (such as it is…) and awards. I have now set up my profile on the CWA website, and there I am, grinning away in the same directory as Lindsey Davis and Simon Scarrow (be still, my beating heart – which, when you think about it, is exactly what happens in most crime fiction).
(In completely unrelated news, I see that the CWA Daggers awards now permit self-published works to be considered. If “Notes of Change” goes down well, I may even be brave enough to enter it in the Historical category… Ah yes, you will spot that the title of the new book has shortened slightly, from “The Notes of Change” to “Notes of Change” – an excellent suggestion from beta reader Roy!)