I know what you’re thinking. I know the concerns and worries you have. I know how bewildering all the information is that you can find in books and on the web. The reason I know is because I’ve been there.
I work with authors like you via one-to-one coaching, where I impart my unique brand of practical advice. I’ll help bring your book to life, and also ensure that it’s aesthetically attractive and carries credible, compelling content, whether fiction, memoir or non-fiction.
Trust me – your book will become one that no reader can put down. I’ll even show you how to share it with the world.
Though I’m a qualified editor and proof-reader, it’s the critique and coaching processes that really float my boat. Nothing gives me more pleasure than being able to help an author from the very seed of their idea right up to when they hold their debut novel in their hand, full of joy and accomplishment.
Could that be you?
Obsessed with words, books and writing since I could hold a pen, I used to set my own writing ‘challenges’ as a young girl, even before the word ‘geek’ had been invented. My favourite author, Enid Blyton, took me to different lands (literally, in The Magic Faraway Tree!) that sounded fantastic against the backdrop of another rainy afternoon in Yorkshire.
I was gently ‘accused’ by two different English teachers of plagiarism when submitting coursework in school. Called to the front of the class as my peers passed by me, bound for home, I was asked where I’d got my material. Wholly truthfully, I said, 'From my head.'
Continually told I was ‘good with words’, I took writing course after writing course. I had my first two books published by an Indian outfit that specialised in children’s fiction. After ghost-writing a book for a friend, I was asked to help a fellow author who was having difficulty cultivating the idea in his head.
'I lose it before it gets to the page,' he said. 'I don’t know how to put it.' We chatted; I explained how I’d approach his problem. I relayed what I understood about writing technique and rules to be followed. 'No one’s ever explained it to me like that. I get it now, it was Double Dutch before!' He’s now the author of four books, and counting.
I still write, although sporadically – I simply don’t have the time I used to. From that author, I’ve coached, helped and advised hundreds more over the last couple of decades. I’m rubbish at map-reading and navigating, controlling my urges for chocolate, and being quiet, but I know I have a gift when it comes to helping new authors out of the starting blocks. I can spot a good story. I know what readers like. I know what needs work when I read something, and what should be championed.
Me at home:
I, unsurprisingly, love to read in my spare time; my whole life is books. My favourite genres are chick-lit and true crime. I live in West Yorkshire with my husband, two daughters (one of whom is also an avid writer), and our devil-dog Scamp, a border terrier.
One of my dreams – I have many – is to run a bookshop-cum-café somewhere picturesque, where the surroundings offer tranquillity and inspiration to budding authors, and ready-made readerships via the guaranteed quality of the titles on sale.
My help doesn’t stop there: I also help writers get into the right frame of mind to see their book as a commercial product. I show them where their audience can be found, and help them form a strategic, continual marketing and promotional plan that will see their book sales grow and grow.
Last point: if you’re wondering why I called my brand and business ‘The Writing Hall’ – and not just ‘Diane Hall’ – it’s because I’m passionate about the sense of community in the literary world - authors are a fascinating, fabulous breed. It may be possible to self-publish, but no one should go through that wonderful journey alone. It takes a village to raise a child and a hall full of contributors, experts and readers to create a best-seller.