In July this year, University of Salford alumnus Adam Simcox published his debut novel ‘The Dying Squad’, a supernatural crime thriller book where the main character has to solve his own murder in purgatory. 

Adam Simcox studied an MA in TV and Documentary Production at the University of Salford from 2003-2004 and believes that it helped launch his passion for writing. 

Adam Simcox. Image provided by Adam Simcox.

“It was actually at Salford that I started properly writing. Although the course was documentary in nature, it was fiction where my heart lay, and over the course of the year, I wrote my first feature film script.

Adam has been passionate about writing since studying at Salford. 

“I doubt there’s a week that’s gone by that I haven’t written something, whether that’s a script, a novel, or a treatment when pitching for a commercial film project.

“It’s both a blessing and a curse, to be honest! Sometimes it feels like a drug that you can’t kick, but it’s that passion that’s kept me going through all the rejections and setbacks.”

In this blog Adam shares his top tips for new authors looking for a book deal: 

Get comfortable with the concept of rejection

“Over a decade in the film trenches had given me a thick skin when it came to rejection, but it was still massively tough. 

“Every writer barring Stephen King and JK Rowling experiences rejection – it’s part of the deal.”

Network with other writers

“Try and find fellow writers who you like and trust to form a community with. 

“It’ll be invaluable for moral support, and for also having people give feedback and critique your work.

Hold off on sharing your book straight away 

“When you think you’ve finished your book, you’ll be tempted to fire it off to agents straight away. 

“Fight that temptation: put away the book for a month, then come back to it. Make sure every last word is as good as it can possibly be – you’ll only have one chance to impress an agent or publisher.”

Photo cred: @glenncarstenspeters Unsplash

Research, research, research 

“Research agents. Don’t just fire off submissions indiscriminately – there’s no point submitting your high concept manuscript to an agent who specialises in romantic comedy. 

“Try to personalise the submission letter, and think about where it would sit in a bookshop – comparing your book to similar titles is catnip to most agents.”

Keep going

“Never give up.

“As low as things may get, there’ll always be another high just around the corner.”

Find out more about Adam and his writing journey by checking out our blog on Graduate Voice.

‘The Dying Squad’. Image provided by Adam Simcox.

You can order Adam’s book here.