By Ian Mulville

(Author Full Circle, released 1st May 2014)


5th May 2014


Previously I have written about how the catalyst for beginning Full Circle was the sudden and unexpected death of a close friend. It was a case of “if I don’t get this book written now, it might never happen”. We all think we have time, but in reality, we never know when our number’s up.


As I began writing, the same friend featured heavily in the book, which presented a potential problem for me: of the two main characters, he was the ‘darker’ of the two. I certainly didn’t want to sully his name in any way, and of course didn’t want to upset his family, so I wrote to them and explained that I wanted to dedicate the book to him, and that the ‘Dave Williams’ character in the book was loosely based on his personality.


They gave me the go-ahead. I handed over a couple of sample chapters and kept the family members involved throughout the writing process, still slightly worried that I might somehow offend them. Let’s not forget that this is a work of fiction, but some of my late friend’s mannerisms would clearly identify him to those who knew him.


I made the Dedication, and the book was launched on 1st May.   So it was with great trepidation that I opened an email a couple of days ago from my departed friend’s sister, containing the following message:



Hey Ian,


I wanted you to know my hardback copy of Full Circle arrived today. It really is bizarre that we were having a family get together. I wasn’t expecting it to arrive so soon and always think there maybe an outside influence controlling these things. Mum and Dad and all the kids were here and it literally dropped through the door!!


It is the greatest gift you have given us, and I really mean that. To see his memory immortalised in print means an incredible amount to us and I can’t thank you enough. I am literally tugging my earlobe as I write!!


I am about 75 percent of the way through and loving every minute of it, I cannot wait to see how it pans out in the end. Well Done, my friend, I am in awe of your achievement.


Ian, I can only reiterate how much it has meant to me, not only will I hold Dave in my heart forever but also there will always be your dedication to him and when all of us who remember him have gone, he will always be there in your words.


Thank you so much



When I read the message, I was speechless for a long time. I couldn’t have asked for more, and requested permission to pass the message on. I just wanted to share it with anyone who is thinking of either dedicating their work to somebody, or who is about to portray somebody – perhaps not in their best light – in print. Be sensitive, seek permission and in the end, hopefully, you’ll be rewarded, as I was.


I hope you enjoyed this post.


Many thanks




May Day, May Day

By Ian Mulville

Author: Full Circle (Crime/Fiction, Launch date 1st May 2014)

A big THANK YOU TO those you who’ve been following my journey since my ‘bloke with an idea in his head and a blank piece of paper’, up until now. This will possibly be my last post before the book officially goes on sale.

Yes, the countdown has started and my debut, (possibly) future-best-selling novel will be available for purchase across all platforms from 1st May 2014.

Although there’s a full ‘Acknowledgements’ page in the novel, I would like to give credit to some special people who helped me to get the project over the line.

  • Jeff at MediaFX helped me with the YouTube interview videos.
  • Sarah and Greta at Seed &Sprout PR set up and populated the social media links for me, plus lots of other ‘PR stuff’, which is still ongoing.
  • Allie at Cre8tive Solutions put the website together, and has been constantly updating it for me.
  • Paul Francis from Doodlejam stepped in on a couple of occasions when technology got the better of me.
  • And Jutta – who does get a longer mention in the book – helped with the cover design concept and took the photo’s of me for both the book cover and for the website/blog/FB pages (plus much more besides).

Early next week I’ll be releasing an animated ‘trailer’ for the new book. It’s been such fun – and hard work – putting it together. The concept started out as a punchy thirty second clip, but has now stretched to one minute, twenty seconds (it could easily have been ten minutes long; and why stop there?). Apart from capturing the imagination of potential readers, I’m also hoping it will catch the attention of scriptwriters, screenwriters and even film directors; I’m aiming high. Any literary agents who ‘passed’ on the Full Circle manuscript, can also view the trailer to visualise the novel, and then contact me about my future projects. Once you’ve seen it, I’d really appreciate any feedback.

There was an early ‘leak’ this week, when somebody who received an advance copy of Full Circle, proudly displayed a shot of themselves reading it on their Facebook and tagged me. It led to a brief flurry of “why didn’t you tell us it was out?” messages and – as a bonus – some early sales.   How amazing it was to sell my very first hardback copy, which is a milestone in itself, however modest. That’s another “thank you” right there…

There are now links straight from the ‘Shop’ page on the website which really makes it easy for people to make a purchase. Rather than directing them straight to Amazon or Barnes and Noble, they can now take a quick tour of the site, and get to know more about me if they wish.

Immediately post-launch, I have a couple of competitions in mind (which I’ve mentioned in a previous blog), and I’ll update you in a follow-up blog. Don’t want to give the game away, but I haven’t seen them done before, so it’s another exciting project to take the project to the next level.

So much to do. Now it’s time to get some reviews, ramp up the PR and social media and generally ‘get the word’ out. Once again I thank you for your support and encouragement. I’ve enjoyed sharing with you, and reading some of your own blogs, which have been inspirational. There’s so much talent out there.

Whatever stage of writing you’ve reached, please keep at it. I hope you’ve been able to take a little something away from my experience and musings of the writing journey, and I wish you every success.



Everything’s Come Full Circle

By Ian Mulville

Author:  Full Circle (Crime/Fiction, Launch date 1st May 2014)

The countdown has now officially started and my debut, (possibly) future-best-selling novel will be available for purchase across all platforms from 1st May 2014.  (Psst:  it’s actually available already on Amazon and also on Barnes & Noble, if you want to beat the rush…).

I can’t explain how good it felt to have the first freshly-printed, ever-so-shiny advance copy of Full Circle in my hands.  It wasn’t quite up there with the birth of my children, but still… there was an amazing feeling of achievement, of relief, of completion, all tinged with disbelief that it had actually arrived safely.

I’m sure anyone that’s ever written a book can relate to it: so much effort goes into the writing – physical and emotional – that it veers towards the masochistic.  The rewards though, when you reach certain milestones – like the first page, the first thousand words, the first chapter, the final full stop – are immense.

Personally, I feel I’ve grown so much in the process.  It’s been a steep learning curve, not having come from a writing background, and very challenging with real highs and lows.  Like any major undertaking, actually starting – writing the first line of a 135,000-word journey – was the most daunting, and there were regular obstacles along the way, like writer’s block, plot holes, spending weeks crafting a very exciting or entertaining scene, before realising that  it actually diverted from the plot or slowed the pace down.

But that’s all behind me now and, regardless of how it’s received, I did it.  I did it!

The writing, the editing, reviewing, the editing, the proof reading, the editing, the cover design, the editing, the social media, etc.  Did I mention the editing?  Do believe everything they say about writing the book being the easiest part:  it’s the editing which can make you want to give it all up.  Well, me, anyway.  However, I was lucky enough to have an excellent support team:  Team Mully.  They believed in me and supported me and I am truly grateful.

There are many others who have helped me on this journey, and if they’re not mentioned in the Acknowledgements page, then they will be in the next blog.

The pre-launch activity has now begun in earnest. The website’s been updated, and I’m just awaiting the links to be added which will enable online purchase direct from the site.  In the next few weeks, I hope to launch a competition, and ‘get the word out’ on FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc., that it’s finally about to be released on an unsuspecting world.

So, literary agents, (screenwriters, film directors) here it is; my debut novel.   I hope you like it and, should you find yourself inspired, impressed or intrigued, then please make contact, and I’ll give you an update on my future book-writing projects (contact details on  This is just the beginning.

Thank you so much for following my progress.  I hope you’ve found it informative, and I value your support.

Many thanks.



Literary Agents: Self-Screening?

By Ian Mulville

Author: Full Circle (Crime/Fiction, Launch date 1st May 2014)
Hello, and welcome back. It’s been a little while since my last post, and one of the main reasons is explained below. I hope you find interesting.

Recently, a well-known Australian literary agent gave me some valuable feedback after receiving a manuscript of my debut novel, Full Circle, for his review.

He said that whilst the writing is good and the story has merit, he wouldn’t be able to represent me because the story ‘isn’t Australian’. He went on to explain that publishers are being squeezed from all sides, and are – by necessity – becoming ever more risk-averse. With the number of books they’re able to publish each year being reduced, along with the associated marketing budgets, they are tending to stick with very ‘safe’ projects: known authors, topical subjects, Australian-based or themed. Nothing too controversial.

Although I’m Australian (I can officially say that now), the story of Full Circle begins and ends in London, with the characters weaving between France, Spain, Germany and Holland as the story progresses. Therefore, the advice given was that I try and secure a London-based agent, as the storyline was likely to resonate with UK/European-based readership more readily than an Australian audience. Books which are successful in the UK are routinely picked up by publishers in Australia, but the opposite is not often the case.

The feedback was honest, made sense and was very much appreciated, so I made up my list of twenty reputable UK literary agents. And that was where the fun started.

A key part of my criteria was that the agents I selected must be willing and able to accept an electronic version of my manuscript, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that that most of them did. The majority, in fact, will now only accept e-manuscripts, though many will still accept either electronic or hard copy, and there are a few stalwarts who still insist on hard-copies only.

Something I was not prepared for though, was the time which would be required to prepare my submissions. There’s no such thing as a standard submission format. Each agent has their own criteria, and it can be a painstaking process to prepare your submission in order to meet their rigid requirements.

As an example, all the agents require a synopsis of the novel. Fair enough, but their requirements range from 500 words, one page, 5,000 words and even – in a couple of cases – a chapter-by-chapter synopsis. In the case of Full Circle, with so many chapters, that was an 8,000 word document. Now for a new author, that’s quite a task.

In addition, some of the agents required the first 5,000 words of the novel (or 10,000 words), or they wanted the first three chapters, or the first, second and last chapters. Some requested my biography, my marketing plan for the book, my social media links and coverage, my inspiration for writing and for the book, etc., etc. That’s without the widely differing format specifications such as font and size, package, pdf, document size and naming protocols.

Whilst I fully appreciate that all this information is relevant, and I’m under no illusion regarding the volume and widely-varying quality of the submissions which literary agents receive, nonetheless I found the whole process daunting, time-consuming, frustrating and – ultimately – off-putting.

And then something occurred to me: maybe, in some way, that’s the point.

As an HR professional, one technique used in the recruitment process is self-screening. In online recruiting, the more questions you ask the candidate to complete, the higher the drop-out rate of the applicants tends to be. The thinking is that if candidates can’t be bothered to stay the course, invest some time and effort, follow the criteria, etc., then they effectively ‘screen themselves out’, and they probably wouldn’t fit into the organisation anyway. Quite often, even if a completed online application is received, despite clearly asking for relevant information to be inserted in a particular place, or expanded upon, candidates will simply write ‘please refer to attached resumé’. It’s an immediate red flag that the candidate is either unable or unwilling to follow clear instructions.

As with recruiters and their CV’s, how many manuscripts must literary agents receive on an average day? Often, an overwhelming number. Too many for them to have the time to go through each one and pick out the relevant data, which is why they ask the author to do it. If the initial data is of interest, if it really leaps of the page and grabs their attention, only then will the whole manuscript be read. Just like with resumés.

So, although the temptation might be, after the umpteenth manuscript submission, to simply cut-and-paste from the previous one, bear in mind that you might well be screening yourself out.



A Fresh Pair of Eyes (Frank Feedback Part II)

By Ian Mulville

Author:  Full Circle (Crime/Fiction, Launch date 31st August 2013)


In my last blog, I talked about the value of receiving frank feedback.  In future, I will never underestimate the value of having a fresh pair of eyes look over my work, or of an unbiased opinion to offer suggestions of how often a small change can change the perspective or pace of the book.

I’ve been quite happy with the look and feel of the book for months now, but am ever open to feedback, which has been coming in thick and fast (thank you).  In a previous post I talked about Point of View, Layering and Pacing, and after an intensive two weeks and two re-writes to address those areas, I really believed I had them nailed.  Wrong.

Had I pushed the book out a few months ago, as I was tempted to, then it wouldn’t have been ‘all that it could be’.  For those of you who were fortunate enough to read earlier versions, I regret to inform you that the mountain bike accident, the sauna scene and the banana lounge are now all on the cutting room floor.  Funny, well-written anecdotes, yes, but not directly relevant to the plot, and they slowed the pace.  Ouch.  However, they will make it into a future book, I promise (and maybe the Director’s Cut of the movie).  And the Eurostar scene is still in, so all is not lost.

I will be uploading some revised Chapters and extracts onto this week, so that you’ll be able to judge for yourself.  The essence still very much remains.

Although the launch date has now slipped a month, into August, I believe the delay – though frustrating – has been worth it.  After all, this is my debut novel, and first impressions count, right?  As a new author, I want my readers to feel that they have a quality product in their hands; a good story, well-written and presented.  The same obviously applies to book reviewers, publishers and literary agents.

The journey is just about complete.  As I write, the final edited version has been submitted, and the novel is in the production phase.  It will have a proof-read, then there’s the typesetting and formatting, the insert pages, the cover design and blurb – all of which have been submitted – and it’s ready to go.  I am awaiting the so-far-elusive ‘go’ date, when it will finally be put up online and go to print, and then I can really start the pre-launch, launch and post-launch campaigns to get it out to the widest possible audience.

Future blogs will cover how I approach the marketing, communication and reviews, any triumphs or challenges, and the outcomes.  The PR company, Seed & Sprout, are waiting in the wings and as soon as I have a confirmed date, they will leap into action.  We have come up with some great ideas for the campaign, including a competition, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

Once I have a date, I’ll send out a further blog .  Thank you for reading, and for your patience.  Full Circle will definitely be worth the wait.




Frank Feedback

By Ian Mulville

Author:  Full Circle (Crime/Fiction, Launch date 31st July 2013)


Having received feedback and comments from family and friends – which were all positive and encouraging – it was with trepidation that I awaited the results of the ‘Editorial Evaluation’ from my first external, truly objective source; somebody impartial who wasn’t afraid to hurt my feelings and could offer professional advice regarding the overall state of my debut novel.

And you know what?  It wasn’t too bad (considering I’m a new author with a new book).  A good, original story with great characters, but in need of some work on the technical side.  I thought: I can deal with that. 

The editor provided examples to support any observations and recommendations and I agreed with the vast majority of their comments.  For the remainder, I felt that perhaps it was a difference of opinion rather than a technical defect, so I stuck with the original version or made only a minor tweak.

It was exactly the feedback I needed.  The main issue highlighted was the ‘Point of View’; maintaining consistency with who’s talking or taking action, and in what tense.  I needed to ‘change the camera angle’ and make the book move through a series of scenes, with as many as possible of the scene-endings taking the plot forward.  This was a tough one but, using the examples provided, I could see what they meant; I as the writer must be invisible, and any thoughts, emotions or discoveries must originate from the character, not me.

Another comment was that although the dialogue was relevant and meaningful, there was simply too much and some of it came across as a monologue.  Again, good to hear, and I took out quite a bit of dialogue, replacing some of it in the text rather than in parentheses.

A further observation was that much of the character development in the first couple of chapters was slowing the pace down.  It was all valuable stuff, but could or should be cut-and-pasted further into the novel.  Once again, I fully agreed.  It made sense; I want people to get straight into the guts of the story and become engaged with it, and then fill in the detail later.

In the editor’s opinion, a couple of the sub-plots/storylines came across as anecdotal and although they were interesting and entertaining, they didn’t move the plot forward.  This was where I really struggled.  I had invested a great deal of time in getting those lines down, and was attached to them, so it was really hard to let them go.  A few I amended and a few I removed altogether.  It will never be wasted effort or material; it was a great learning curve for me and who knows, they might make it into book two..?

The final feedback was around ‘layering’; building suspense, creating expectation, alluding to past events and letting the reader fill in the blanks without spelling things out for them.  There were a couple of places where I’d summarised, in the mind of one of the characters, what had led them up to that point in time, and on reflection it was unnecessary; all was eventually revealed in good time.

Now all that sounded pretty daunting, but as I’m very open to feedback I got stuck straight in, making the recommended changes and adjustments.  And the outcome?  I’m extremely happy with the result.  It seems so much more polished; it flows well, builds nicely and there’s no fat (well, less than there was, anyway…).  I was already confident that I’d created something worthwhile, and now I know that it’s the best it can be.  You can’t ask for more than that!

In the next week or so I’ll be posting some of the revised content on so please take a look.  You can compare the ‘before and after’ versions and make your own mind up whether it’s progress or not.  I believe it is.  All feedback is welcomed on the blog.

I’m convinced it will all help in my search for positive reviews and later, my search for a literary agent, so all the additional effort will definitely be worth it.

And so to the important bit: when will it be available?  Well, the book is in production and the target date at this point is still 31st July.  If there’s any change to that date, then I’ll certainly let you know.

As usual, many thanks for following my writer’s journey and I’ll be back soon.  My next blog will be about the cover design, marketing and insert pages of the book, which is a journey all by itself.




Change Management

By Ian Mulville

Author:  Full Circle (Crime/Fiction, Launch date July 2013)


Welcome back.

All over the World people are clamouring for change, whatever that word means to them. In recent years, influential people have talked about ‘the power of change’, ‘change you can believe in’ and, ‘the only constant is change’.  It seems that everyone wants more of something, less of something or just something different.  Yet when actually faced with the prospect of change, people react quite differently.  Some will embrace it (the early adopters, if you like), whilst others will fear it and go into either fight, flight or freeze mode.

One of the characters in my new book, Full Circle, undergoes a series of profound changes.  His whole life has been turned upside down, with everything familiar torn away from him and nobody to offer solace or guidance.

The novel is a crime fiction thriller, and the central thread is the separate journeys of the two main characters, Dave and Rob, and how over a period of eighteen months they each cope with the changes thrust upon them as they struggle to come to terms with their new circumstances.  One sees it as a threat , retreating into familiar territory and taking the easy way out.  The other, however, views the changes as an opportunity to let go of the past and make a new start unburdened by three decades of baggage.

Throughout the course of the book, their emotions and reactions range from shock, anger, rejection and denial, via deflection, diversion, victim mode and blame before they finally reach the acceptance stage.  For one of them, it may already be too late…

What would you do?  How would you react?  Which path would you take?

Not long now, until Full Circle is launched, and you’ll be able to find out how the story unfolds and how they reconcile the changes, and what life’s thrown at them.  If you haven’t had a chance to read Chapter One yet, then please go to the website and look under the ‘Books’ tab.


Enjoy, and please come back soon.


Take care