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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > September 2016 > Subscriber spotlight

Subscriber spotlight

Share your writing success stories. If you subscribe to Writing Magazine and would like to feature here, email Tina Jackson,

Mean streets success story

‘I started writing in 2006 and wanted a traditional publishing deal with a top five publisher,’ writes long-term subscriber AA Dhand.

‘One million words and a decade later I finally succeeded when on 16 June, my debut thriller, Streets of Darkness was released by Transworld (Bantam) amidst much media hype. The novel has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines and TV rights were sold quickly prior to release. It has been a year of huge highs and whilst I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to finally showcase my work, it has taken considerable dedication to persist. The journey is well documented on my blog at but involved leaving an esteemed literary agency who initially signed me in 2008 and who I left in 2011 when my latest novel, Fields of Blood was rejected. Whilst it took considerable courage to leave, I felt it was right because I was certain Fields of Blood was a compelling thriller. In 2013, I won a competition called Crime and Publishment and soon acquired a new agent, Simon Trewin of WME. Whilst he compiled a list of publishers to send Fields of Blood to, I had finished Streets of Darkness. Simon decided it was a stronger first novel and asked me who I wanted to submit to. Immediately I said Transworld who publish my favourite authors, Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen and Mo Hayder. They received the book on Friday and we had a deal by Monday.

© Mark Davis

Streets of Darkness features suspended DI Harry Virdee who is a secular Sikh and a fiercely patriotic British Asian married to Saima, a practising Muslim. He is suspended from work for assaulting a member of the public who racially abused his heavily pregnant wife and the only way Harry can save his job and redeem himself is to solve a high-profile racially aggravated murder in Bradford. But Harry has only ten hours to solve the case before Bradford potentially falls into civil unrest, and with each passing hour, Harry’s preconceptions are turned on their head as he discovers nothing in his city is black and white.’

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Star interview with Crime Novel of the Year winner and griplit star Clare Mackintosh 1 topic, 100 books: Make the most of your speciality Before you write a word: Start your writing life the right way 10 top tips: How the pros keep writing Author experiences: • Going back to school for a creative writing MA • "How I wrote three books at once" • Readers share their success stories WIN £119,000 in writing prizes News you can use! 20 packed pages of Writers' News

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