I keep reading comments online which insist that you can only get a book deal if you have mysterious connections in the publishing business; and how it's absolutely impossible for new writers to get published at all.
The logic of these arguments is fundamentally flawed, and they're just not true; but how to convince people of that? It must sound so very reasonable if you're an unpublished writer floundering around in the wasteland of the slush-pile, or drowning in a sea of rejections. I can waffle on all I like about the alchemical mix of talent, market awareness, persistence and luck which it takes to get a book written and published well from this side of the publication fence; but unpublished writers don't want alchemy, they want real information, something more concrete and clear. They want a magic key which opens publishing's door for them: they want to see what transforms an unpublished writer into a published one.
Daniel Blythe, a writer who comments here regularly, has had a stroke of brilliance (again: he's good at that). He's suggested that I start to include in my blog writers' own accounts of how they got published.
So, tomorrow the first in what I hope will be a new series: Daniel Blythe will tell us how he first got published. His is a cracking story which shows just how talent, wit and hard work can make you very lucky indeed.
If you've been published and would like to contribute your own story, just email it to me (my address is over there, in the right-hand column) with "HPRW: How I Got Published" in the subject-line. I'm looking forward to reading your contributions, and will use as many of them as I can.