Mark of success as putting novel online gets it published

SHE’S an author who has just found out that her debut novel is going to be published so perhaps she can be forgiven for a few typos on her blog.

Leigh Fallon took an unusual route to becoming a published author. She wrote The Carrier of the Mark, a paranormal romance, and contacted some literary agents but was unsuccessful in getting it published. So she uploaded her manuscript to in December 2009, a website set up by publishing house, HarperCollins, for aspiring writers and book lovers. It was quickly voted one of the top five manuscripts on the site. HarperCollins, followed up a few months later with an offer of a book contract — its first for a work published on the site.

Leigh is a South African who was raised in Dublin and moved to Kinsale, Co Cork, in her 20s.

She was working in a bank in Dublin when she met “the love of her life”, a navy man, and moved to Cork, where he was based.

“While living in beautiful Kinsale, Co Cork, I discovered a love of writing. I write mainly for the young adult market.”

She explains that her current book, The Carrier of the Mark, prompted her “to abandon my ‘riveting’ career in corporate treasury and have been writing ever since”.

She gave up working in the corporate world for good when her third and fourth children arrived.

“It was the pure unrelenting torment of four children under the age of six that drove me to escapism, and that escapism manifested itself as writing. And for that, to my children, I will always be grateful,” she explained.

“I have another three books in the Carrier series and a few other projects I’m working on. My family and I now share our time between Ireland and the US,” said the mother-of-four, who writes all her books in long-hand before transferring them to her computer.

Susan Katz, president and publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books, called the novel “an outstanding project”.

“For many people the rise to ‘Top Five’ on inkpop is a long process, but for Leigh, The Carrier Of The Mark shot to the top of the list. This was one of our first key indications that it was an outstanding project,” said Ms Katz.

Leigh says her debut novel will be available in the autumn: “You’ll be able to get your hands on your very own copy in the fall 2011.”



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