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Victoria Mosley

How To Get Published

We’re always delighted to hear of the achievement of a Toyboy Warehouse member and these days getting published is a real achievement as the book publishing industry is in something of a crisis. Victoria Mosley (sirensong on TBW) has just had her book Moonfisher published, and so, as we know there are quite a few writers on TBW, we thought we’d ask her to write some tips about gettting published.

“My agent always told me that in order to get a novel published it took 95% perseverance and 5% talent.  Well maybe, what he didn’t say was that it would take me seven years seven novels a bit of luck and absolutely nothing to do with him to get my first baby out there.

I’ve always been a poet, I’ve had poetry published for about thirty years in loads of magazines both here and abroad, I have three poetry collections available and a literary CV to die for, but could I get a novel published? No. My fiction is a heady mix of history,  a bit of the supernatural, at least one love affair in it and usually a hefty twist at the end of the novel. It’s good, everyone that read it said it was – but it didn’t quite fit the chick lit genre, too clever and literary, maybe too full of issues, and most publishers seemed loathe to take a chance on me. They would always say I was a fabulous cinematic writer but they didn’t know if it would market well. In case you don’t know decisions in big publishing houses nowadays are usually taken by the marketing department and not the editors themselves.

So a bit of lateral thinking is what is called for. I decided to use Facebook to promote my poetry, poetry doesn’t make any money so I might as well let people read it online free. Soon I had a huge following; everyone was clamoring to be my friend. I had 1000, 2000 now 5000 ‘’friends’’. One man who I had never heard of wanted to befriend me, curious about who he was I Googled him.

Aha… he seemed to be the Chairman of an independent publishing company. I accepted his request and asked his advice on how to get my seven completed novels published, and he in turn asked to read one of my manuscripts.

Luckily I sent him the right one – Moonfisher – and here’s the blurb and hopefully the rest will be a success story all the way to a mega box office hit. But first of all I’ll give you some pointers if you want to take the long lonely road of a writer, and I think a true writer is born that way not made.

* Do live life to the full. I always wondered what my extraordinary life was for until I started writing novels, then I had all the material already in my head.

* Do write… every day if possible, practice does hone a talent however good you are to start with.

* Do finish your projects, an agent or publisher is only interested in finished works

* Do get an agent if you can, it is practically impossible and dodgy to contact a publisher direct. Any unsolicited manuscripts will go in the slush pile!

* Do keep your day job, 5% of writers make 95% of the money, the rest of us struggle.

* Do read avidly, you can’t write if you don’t read

* It’s never too late to start writing – Mary Wellesley was in her 70’s when she was first published.

* Finally as my teenager was apt to tell me ‘Mummy Van Gogh didn’t sell anything in his lifetime, so can I have your manuscripts when you die?’ So if you have something that you want to write keep at it and very good luck.

Moonfisher – my novel published by Quartet Books – is in all Independent book shops and  you can find it on

A haunting love story with more than one supernatural twist: set in Second World War torn France and present day London,

“Vivid scenes of love and action in wartime France ingeniously linked to the present.”
James Buchan who reviews for The Guardian Review

“A fast-moving and adventurous tribute to female courage, both when war demanded it and when the peace that followed had to be won too, as it always does.”
Julian Evans who reviews for The Spectator

Victoria Mosley is a poet and spoken word artist. She has two published poetry collections

– The Dry Season and Crazy Love.―and a CD As in a Dream .She has been Artist in Residence at the Institute of Contemporary Art, SOAS and Imperial Colleges of London University and toured for London Arts and the British Council. She has produced her own radio shows and hosted and organised events both here and abroad.

Join her poetry blog on


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