Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My Guest: Fleur Ferris

If you love writing, getting THAT break and having a publisher take on your work can be SO frustrating. My Guest this week tells how she handled the problem. Ladies and Gentlemen...

Fleur Ferris

Just keep writing

The last time I wrote a blog for this wonderful site I was celebrating signing with literary agent, Tara Wynne, of Curtis Brown Australia (CBA), and my young adult novel was about to go on submission. 

My manuscript went out to publishers and I hovered over my communication devices, checking my emails every few minutes. When I told a friend (a published author) what I was doing she laughed at me and said, “Don’t sit around waiting, it could take months. Just keep writing.

So I started writing my sixth novel, 'Risk'. 'Risk' had been brewing in my thoughts for months, and the characters and plot were vivid, in my head, before I started writing it. My aim was to have a decent chunk of 'Risk' written before publishers made a decision on Book 5. But, the words flowed fast and I finished the first draft before I received any responses.

Amazon Australia Link
Soon after, I received news. A publisher from Random House Australia liked Book 5, but wanted some changes. They asked if I was open to revising and resubmitting. Of course I was. I felt it was my big chance - maybe my one and only – and Penguin Random House were my dream publisher. I wanted to show them I could do the job. I revised Book 5 and sent it back (via my agent), with 'Risk' attached.

My friend’s advice, just keep writing, rang in my head. I was too emotionally drained to write another YA thriller, so I wrote a lighter adventure story (30K words) for my three children, suitable for middle-grade readers. Again, the words flowed fast and it was soon finished, and a plot for another book preoccupied my thoughts. As soon as I completed the MG story, I was ready to write another YA thriller. Still none the wiser about the fate of Book 5 and 'Risk', I started writing my eighth book.

Soon after, one afternoon, when I had a houseful of guests and an oven full of hors d’oeuvres, I received news from my agent. A publisher at Random House Australia loved 'Riskand was pitching it at the next acquisition meeting.

I jumped with joy, cried a little, and poured champagne. I removed the burnt hors d’oeuvres from the oven and allowed myself to think, maybe, I might be published by Penguin Random House.

The night before the meeting I didn’t sleep. What if the marketing department didn’t think it would sell? What if my research was flawed? What if some of the team didn’t like the writing? What if they think I’m not the person to write such a book? What if? What if? What if?

The day of the meeting came. I drank a lot of coffee, stayed close to my phone and email, and thought up clever slogans for t-shirts that captured the unpleasantness of waiting.

The news came – 'Risk' made it over the line!

And because I just kept writing, I now have two more books (Book 5 & Book 8) in the pipeline. 'Risk' was published by Random House Australia (July 1).

Kindle Edition (available in Australia):

Audiobook narrated by Marny Kennedy, produced by Audible. US:

'Risk' highlights the importance of attaining online safety. Teachers’ Resources can be found on the Random House Australia Website.


Fleur Ferris spent the first seventeen years of her life growing up on a farm in Patchewollock, north-west Victoria, Australia. She then moved twenty times in twenty years. During this time, Fleur sometimes saw the darker side to life while working for a number of years as a police officer and a paramedic.

She now lives a more settled lifestyle on a rice farm in southern New South Wales, Australia with her husband and three young children.

Fleur's colourful and diverse background has given her unique insight into today's society and an endless pool of experiences to draw from. When she isn't weaving this through young adult fiction, reading or spending time with her family, you will find her with friends, talking about art, books and travel.

'Riskis Fleur's first novel for young adults.

'Risk' Blurb

Taylor and Sierra have been best friends for their whole lives. But Taylor's fed up. Why does Sierra always get what – and who – she wants? From kissing Taylor's crush to stealing the guy they both met online for herself, Sierra doesn't seem to notice when she hurts her friends.

So when Sierra says Jacob Jones is the one and asks her friends to cover for her while she goes to meet him for the first time, Taylor rolls her eyes.

But Sierra doesn't come back when she said she would.

One day. Two days. Three . . .

What if Taylor's worrying for nothing? What if Sierra's just being Sierra, forgetting about everyone else to spend time with her new guy?

When Taylor finally tells Sierra's mum that her daughter is missing, Taylor and her friends are thrown into a dark world they never even knew existed.

Can Taylor find Sierra's abductor in time? Or should she be looking for a killer?

When a former police officer and paramedic writes a novel inspired by true stories of online predators and love gone wrong, you know you're getting the real deal.

When Fleur isn't writing cutting-edge novels, she can be found here:

Thank you, Fleur, for talking to us about your writing journey. The message you give to all would-be writers is important: Persistence wins the day! I urge you all to read Fleur's book: an outstanding novel by a very talented writer. Check out 'Risk' today. 

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