Authorship, Publishing, Books and More

A Chat with Kevin Duffy of Bluemoose Books


Bluemoose Books is a UK based publisher and here’s my interview with co-owner, Kevin Duffy

What prompted you to launch Bluemoose Books and how long have you been in business?
Kevin Duffy-I won a national writing competition and was whisked down to London to meet the editorial director of Macmillan and an agent from Curtis Brown at The Ivy. It didn’t go well. The following year I read that all the big advances were going to Irish writers, so I became Irish and changed my name to Colm O’Driscoll, sent off the first three chapters and waited. Darley Anderson contacted me and signed me up. He wasn’t too disappointed that I wasn’t Irish. However, after 12 months he couldn’t get a publisher, humour not being in vogue and the rights reverted back to me. I moped for a bit complaining about how hard it is for new writers to get published and Hetha my wife said well, let’s do something about it, so we re-mortgaged the house and started Bluemoose. We published my novel ANTHILLS AND STARS and THE BRIDGE BETWEEN by Nathan Vanek and we’ve been publishing ever since 2006.

Tell us about some of the editors and staff who work at Bluemoose?
KD-We have four freelance editors. Hetha, Leonora Rustamova, who teaches and is an author too, her book STOP DON’T READ THIS has been sold to ITV productions, Lin Webb, who is just a brilliant editor and Pippa McCarthy, who used to write for Emmerdale and EastEnders. And then there is me, but I don’t edit.

Are there any upcoming titles you’re especially excited about and why?
KD-Our latest title is CAFÉ ASSASSIN by award winning Michael Stewart. Wonderful tale of betrayal and revenge. Here is a brilliant review in The Daily Mail. His debut novel KING CROW won The Guardian’s NOT THE BOOKER in 2011 and was a World Book Night recommended read. We’re also publishing THE SECRET TO NOT DROWNING by Colette Snowden in July which is an utterly brilliant story of how one woman copes with the emotional abuse in her marriage. A stunning book that very woman and man should read. It should win every prize going but probably won’t. Watch out for this book though, beautifully written.

What are you especially looking for right now? Is there any genre or style of book you’d love to publish but can’t seem to find?
KD-We’re always on the lookout for stories that are brilliantly told, engage and inspire the reader. We don’t publish children’s, short stories or poetry.

What are some of main reasons you reject a manuscript?
KD-We reject anything that is badly written and doesn’t engage and excite the reader, oh and if it tries to be too tricksy, all style over substance.

Do you ever give detailed reasons for rejection or encourage writers to resubmit based on any suggestions you offer?
KD-We don’t give detailed reasons for rejection but if we think the writer has something, we will encourage them to send us other work.

Bluemoose Books is an award winning Independent publisher @ofmooseandmen.

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