Danny Ambrose

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Now here's a thing. This week and for most of last week, we've had to self isolate due to my two kid…
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  •  · Thanks Lynn - self isolating is so boring and in a way counter-productive as I reckon once you've do…
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Here's something different, I'm struggling to do this at the moment, I find writing pages and pages …
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  •  · You originally said that it was actually about death, which is a pretty definitive statement. I had …
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I thought I'd share this on here, for those who are mid-way through their manuscripts and in that st…
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  •  · Hi Jane, I'm an 'all over the place' person too - jumping ahead and back and forth and I write the e…
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HI I'd thought I'd post the first chapter of my WIP - any feedback very welcome thanks              …
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  •  · Hey Danny,I didn't have an issue with the head hopping (haha!) as did some others but I would have l…
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I was reading an article this week in a magazine that stated it would be unlikely the above would ge…
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  •  · Haha! oh, you guys!! 😂 👽 😼 
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I was talking to my brother about the joys and otherwise of writing, over the weekend, and he asked …
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  •  · I don't think it's vanity to want the endorsement of an agent and publisher. Self-publishing (as dis…

As has been said many times on here - publishing is a very subjective business, much of the arts is like that, theater, music - and the big problem is that it is incredibly difficult to break into the club.

I read a Costa first novel nominee recently and it was very ordinary I have to say - but an agent obviously liked it and convinced a publisher to take a punt on it so what do I know? At least 5 of my favorite  books last year have been by independent authors which tells me that a hell of a lot of great writers aren't getting any representation. 

One common factor amongst the 5 books were the spelling mistakes and editing errors (leaving notes and lines on text that have been altered.) This screams amateur but I forgave them because the narrative was so good but reading some reviews other readers aren't so forgiving. I would advise then if you are going to go down the self pub route make sure a decent copy editor casts their eye over it before you send it off...


Best of luck



You are very eloquent for a 14 year old - my daughter is 13 and communicates with grunts and gestures - it's like living with a cavegirl - but I'm told this is normal for a teenager. The plot sounds intriguing and worthy of more work - my only piece of advice - don't tell anyone you send it to you are 14, age prejudice is alive and well in the literary world - if it's good enough it's good enough - whether you're 14 or 94, but don't let anyone have a reason to reject your submissions without reading them.

Added a comment to Rejection  

It's unusual for an agent to take that amount of trouble so both of you should feel very encouraged.


Lynn gives some very good advice - I'm working on a few things that I know mainstream publishers won't be interested in so I will go down the self pub route for them and I'll probably pay someone to do a copy edit for me then use You Tube to guide me through the process there's loads of great stuff out there. Over the past year I've used you tube to:

1. Learn to play the Cello

2. Construct and lay multi-level decking  in he back garden.

3. Improve music production skills

4. Put together a pole chain saw.

5. Make wooden planters for the garden.

6. Try and work out my daughters maths homework - I mean seriously when did it get that complicated. my wife and I both have degrees (not in maths obviously) but we didn't have a clue - nor the teacher by the looks of it - a maths tutor on YOU Tube was brilliant made it simple, well simpler...

Using You Tube to fins out to self publish cheaply should be a doddle!!  The thing about self pubbing is that you ain't going to make any real money from it and unless ur really lucky the same applies to traditional publishing too so you don' want to spend a fortune that you'll never make back so DIY is imperative really. I've got a decent paid day job but I don't want to have to choose between taking the kids on holiday and publishing a book - quick estimate from what I've read:

Critique £400

Professional edits £380

Cover design £400

Formatting services (which is really easy to do your self) £250

And there we are upwards of £1400 without marketing/websites etc. 

YOU TUBE feels like a good starting option anyway...

This reads like science fiction to me, thought with a family drama thrown in. I'm not going to say anything about the synopsis at this stage as I don't think that's what you are looking for, but it needs some work around sentence structure etc.

Overall it doesn't feel like a cheery read but that's fine happy endings are probably over-rated anyway. Good luck with it.

Hi Jo

I liked it, a nice warming story with a happy ending - perfect for kids.

Added a comment to Feedback 

It's all very true - criticism is sometimes hard to take and sometimes it's misplaced but usually it's spot on. The way to deal with it, is read it, get annoyed, disagree with every word then put it away and go back to it a few days later and it'll all make sense...

I had a look online and a few reviews and I'm even after that I'm not sure what they are. They seem to be some kind of alternative/halfway house between self publishing and marketing unit - they do seem to want $500 upfront which sets the alarm bells ringing.

HI Liz


It's not rude, and well done for getting someone to request a full, quite an achievement. It's been a busy time of year - summer hols etc, I'd wait to the end of the month then drop him/her a polite email wondering what they thought of your manuscript. 


I have been in this position a few times, I currently have three unfinished projects on the go, I tend to flit between them. The one with the most promise currently is a pig to write. It's not that I hate it but i'm definitely on the final draft now and whilst I still love it I also hate it, which trust me is completely normal. (Have a read of Mhairi Macfarlane's blog) whereas I am really enjoying writing one of the others which is in the first draft stage. The other one has had two rewrites and will soon get to the stage where I hate it too!! 

What to try is leaving it for no more than 2 weeks, then go back and look at it fresh, if it still excites you then go and sort out the issues, it's always worth doing. if you can't be bothered then that should tell you all you know. Don't be afraid to abandon something that doesn't work it might feel like a waste of time, but it's not it's always a learning experience.

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