Three Pics To Pub #2 - Lara Dearman The Devil's Claw

In the second in my occasional series, #3pics2pub, Lara Dearman, debut author of The Devil's Claw, shares  three pictures from her journey to publication.

Lara, like Will Dean (the first #3pics2pub author), currently lives outside the UK, in New York!  

It's fascinating to see how she found her agent and publisher whilst living overseas.

1. The Capitol, DC I finished my MA in Creative Writing at St Mary’s University in the spring of 2015. It was an amazing experience, but a tough one. I had three small kids (one not yet at school), we were renovating our house and then, halfway through the course, my husband came home, nonchalantly wondering if we might all like to move to the USA? I can’t quite remember how that conversation went, only that I didn’t get to do much writing for a while and a few months later, we found ourselves living in a leafy suburb of Westchester, New York. I was three quarters of the way through The Devil’s Claw at this point, and while I was proud of it, I had little hope of finding an agent, let alone a publisher - it would have been difficult enough in the UK, but in a new country, where I had not the first idea about the industry, it was surely impossible. I kept working on the book though - one of the great things about the MA was that it had pushed me past the point where, with less support, I might have given up - and a few months later I had a life-changing call from my tutor. An agent had read the first three chapters. She loved it and had asked if I could send the rest. By the summer of 2016, a little less than a year after we moved to the States, I had a UK publishing deal. This is me, in front of the Capitol in Washington DC soon after I found out that The Devil’s Claw had sold in the US too! 

1. The Capitol, DC

I finished my MA in Creative Writing at St Mary’s University in the spring of 2015. It was an amazing experience, but a tough one. I had three small kids (one not yet at school), we were renovating our house and then, halfway through the course, my husband came home, nonchalantly wondering if we might all like to move to the USA? I can’t quite remember how that conversation went, only that I didn’t get to do much writing for a while and a few months later, we found ourselves living in a leafy suburb of Westchester, New York. I was three quarters of the way through The Devil’s Claw at this point, and while I was proud of it, I had little hope of finding an agent, let alone a publisher - it would have been difficult enough in the UK, but in a new country, where I had not the first idea about the industry, it was surely impossible. I kept working on the book though - one of the great things about the MA was that it had pushed me past the point where, with less support, I might have given up - and a few months later I had a life-changing call from my tutor. An agent had read the first three chapters. She loved it and had asked if I could send the rest. By the summer of 2016, a little less than a year after we moved to the States, I had a UK publishing deal. This is me, in front of the Capitol in Washington DC soon after I found out that The Devil’s Claw had sold in the US too! 

2. First Time in Print After several years spent as a stay at home mum, to suddenly find myself thrown into the world of publishing was quite surreal. There were contract negotiations, talk about industry announcements and 'popping back' to the UK for this event or that, foreign rights conversations (foreign rights! How did I find myself deciding which German publisher was the best ‘home’ for The Devil’s Claw?) I think I received more emails in one month than I had in the previous five years. Possibly the best part was when my editor, Sam Eades at Trapeze, was contributing to a piece in the Guardian about female crime writers and asked me for a quote. I could not believe that only a few weeks after selling the book, I was going to be quoted in a national newspaper. As it happens, I wasn’t. My quote was cut (a good lesson in not getting too big for your boots!) But my name made it in - the first time ever in print, and right next to a picture of the lovely Ruth Ware. A proud moment indeed! 

2. First Time in Print

After several years spent as a stay at home mum, to suddenly find myself thrown into the world of publishing was quite surreal. There were contract negotiations, talk about industry announcements and 'popping back' to the UK for this event or that, foreign rights conversations (foreign rights! How did I find myself deciding which German publisher was the best ‘home’ for The Devil’s Claw?) I think I received more emails in one month than I had in the previous five years. Possibly the best part was when my editor, Sam Eades at Trapeze, was contributing to a piece in the Guardian about female crime writers and asked me for a quote. I could not believe that only a few weeks after selling the book, I was going to be quoted in a national newspaper. As it happens, I wasn’t. My quote was cut (a good lesson in not getting too big for your boots!) But my name made it in - the first time ever in print, and right next to a picture of the lovely Ruth Ware. A proud moment indeed! 

3. The Devil’s Claw Comes Home The Devil’s Claw is set on Guernsey, the island where I was born and raised. I left in 2000 to go to University on ’the mainland' never expecting that over the following seventeen years I would live in London, Paris, Singapore and New York. I love to travel, and to experience new places, but will always be a Guernsey girl at heart. When I started to write, I had no set idea as to genre, or plot, but the location was always going to be Guernsey. And it is the perfect setting for a crime thriller - breathtaking scenery, a unique culture, an abundance of legends and folktales and a complicated history, including five years spent under Nazi Occupation during the Second World War - all of which I have tried to capture in The Devil’s Claw. I went back this summer (as I have every year since I left) armed with proof copies of the book and really felt like it was bringing it home. Here it is, in the shadows on my favourite beach, Petit Bot.

3. The Devil’s Claw Comes Home

The Devil’s Claw is set on Guernsey, the island where I was born and raised. I left in 2000 to go to University on ’the mainland' never expecting that over the following seventeen years I would live in London, Paris, Singapore and New York. I love to travel, and to experience new places, but will always be a Guernsey girl at heart. When I started to write, I had no set idea as to genre, or plot, but the location was always going to be Guernsey. And it is the perfect setting for a crime thriller - breathtaking scenery, a unique culture, an abundance of legends and folktales and a complicated history, including five years spent under Nazi Occupation during the Second World War - all of which I have tried to capture in The Devil’s Claw. I went back this summer (as I have every year since I left) armed with proof copies of the book and really felt like it was bringing it home. Here it is, in the shadows on my favourite beach, Petit Bot.

Many thanks to Lara for sharing her three pics to publication. 

The Devil's Claw is published by Trapeze in the UK

'An atmospheric crime series set in the Channel Islands, that will appeal to fans of Ann Cleeves, Peter May and Elly Griffiths.'