Author August: Sarah Mussi – HOW TO WRITE A BESTSELLER

Author August- Sarah Mussi How to WRite a Bestseller

To view all guest author posts so far and for a chance to win a £40 Foyles Giftcard visit the Author August Page.

Like many aspiring authors I have a driving ambition to write a bestseller and become rich and famous!

But have I got what it takes?

I figure I have! I figure all it needs is the application of those illusive secrets of success. You know, the ones nobody will tell you about, however much you pester them.  Still I’m pretty sure a bit of sensible sleuthing will reveal all…  So, it’s time to do a little cunning detective work…

Start small. Assess chances – then take action:

Have thesaurus, have joined SCWBI  – am totally young at heart (must still have an ear for those teenage idioms) –have been referred to as ‘talented’ – once – over wine – a lot of it – (I was paying) Yes, I think I’m in with a chance! So what else does it take to write a best-seller?

Time to do a little cunning research.

Right, re-read one of J. K. Rowling’s auto-biographies (surely you don’t need me to tell you who she is?) – intend to tread her path to success. Aha, she apparently claims that HARRY POTTER was dreamed up on a train journey. So, step one: get rid of the car and  travel by train.

Cannot fail.

Result: have been travelling by train EVERYWHERE, so on a strictly miles to pounds (the £££ kind) ratio, I figure I should be able to top her sales easily.

Sarah Mussi

Hmmm, no large sums have popped into my on-line bank balance. No Hollywood director has snapped me up! (Though a few have slapped me down. Sob. But, hey, no need to get upset about the difference between a few consonants. Is there?)

Getting a bit worried by the size of the bills on PayPal, though.

Right, back to the drawing board: page 53, J.K’s biography –J.K asserts that most of HP was drafted in a café.

I LOVE cafes.

I can spend masses of time in them. Easy peasy. Say no more!

Result: gained two pounds (not the £££ type) café lingering is an art form I need to work harder at.

Got chucked out of Costa, yesterday. They didn’t buy my bestselling line or like my lingering.

Am a bit disheartened.

However am taking leaf out of Robert the Bruce’s story. Try, try, try again, until everyone screams and gives in.

Right, Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment’s motto is: “Difficulties be Damned”; or “Nec Aspera Terrent” (Yes, J. K., I can use Latin too). So went along to a literary festival and hung out with a few bestselling authors, (Margaret Atwood!!! OH YAY). You know, just to get the feel of the things, pick up a few tips. (They were on the stage. I was in the audience. But, hey, let’s not get picky about a few metres of air.)

Was clever. Asked thought-provoking questions to crack best selling secrets. “How long does it take to write a book?” and, ‘Do I need a Hollywood deal to get noticed?’ Was assured most heartily that I did not need any ‘film deal’, and a book can easily be written in a year.

Hmmm, have spent many many years on mine -and so, therefore, on an hours to £££s ratio should be pretty good shape.

Not giving up yet.

Still could have what it takes.

(Plus, ner to Hollywood.)

Sudden onset of cold feet: do I really want to hit the big time? Aren’t I satisfied with my humble back-list? Isn’t time spent indulging a passion for writing what it’s all about? Doesn’t the joy of writing reward me enough?


Time to upscale the action. Make. A. Strategic. Plan.

Need to:

Identify common traits of bestsellers!

RiotHere goes:

1) Find a good story, copy it and change the character names. Seems to work. Take Lion King for example. Direct pinch from Hamlet.

Am starting new novel it’s called, Brexit – is a direct pinch from Julius Caesar

I know! Cunning!

2) Alternatively write a story about Elizabeth and Darcy used to be know as plagiarism now known as fan fiction!! Love how times move on

3) Buy a cottage by a lake. Worked for Scott Fitzgerald and Wordsworth and that guy, Jamie, in LOVE ACTUALLY.

Will go and see Bank Loans Dept. tomos.

4) Get a darling husband who can faithfully support me, who I can thank on the back of the book!

Have enrolled profile on Plenty More Fish and installed Tinder app on phone. Am getting some very interesting proposals! Must make time to perfect this. As all bestsellers write inside book; “thanks to my darling husband without whom I could never have done it.” Have not got to the proposal stage of dating yet. After the initial encounters most partners seem shy of getting hitched.

(Think this is a really key point and probable why I’ve never hit the big bucks, as have been too busy writing to get a partner.)

So whist waiting will try…

5) Dumping into story oodles of sex and a lot of  ‘Oh my!’ and heavy breathing. I know don’t say it, but it worked for 50 Shades of Grey. Plus need to recycle all those Tinder encounters.

6) Write really, really badly. Apparently that is the key factor for Dan Brown and worked amazingly well in The Da Vinci Code.

7) Take 5 years of rejection.

Agatha Christie was rejected for 5 years before she became a best seller. Have started sending out my appalling badly written manuscripts in the hope of equalling A.C.’s track record. Am getting a steady stream of rejections Definitely foolproof way to succeed and relatively easy – as bad writing comes naturally. Bit of a long wait time, though.

8) Come up with a really silly idea. Using Round Ireland with a Fridge as a shining example and Are You Dave Gorman?

Have come up with Are You Boris Caesar Going Round England on a Bandwagon?

9) Write a war story. What worked before, will work again.

Probably will need another European war to get a really fresh setting –  oops better not think like that not with what’s going on at the mo… Thinx jinx. Thinx jinx. Thinx jinx – break Links. PHEW!!!

10) Write about children dying of cancer.  I know. I know. It worked for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, but there are limits.

10) Become a prostitute and write your memoirs! Only consider  Secret Diary of a Call Girl or My life in a Hareem !!!!!!

Totally solves the Tinder recycling problem and is a sure-fired way to success; plus will help with the oodles thing and give me lots of research possibilities    not to mention might find a partner I can thank! Perfect

And last – but not least…

TOP TIP: Get lots of friends to promote you on their blogs!


Say no more!

Stardom here I come.

 My personal thanks to Sarah for taking part in Author August!

To view all guest author posts so far and for a chance to win a £40 Foyles Giftcard visit the Author August Page.

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