Literary Agents

Margaret Hart, my wonderful literary agent at HSW Literary agency is retiring. I wish to thank her, her employees, especially Natalie St. Pierre, and the agency for signing me on, for working with me and for helping me get where I am today.

I’ve written the first three novels in the Stone Mountain Mystery Series. Descent, Burnt and Avalanche.

Descent was nominated for the 2014 Crime Writers of Canada Unhanged Arthur award. Burnt was nominated for the 2014  Crime Writer’s Association’s Debut Dagger. The guidance, editorial comments and encouragement from Margaret and her team helped make this possible.

Along with Margaret retiring, the HSW Literary Agency is closing its doors. This means I’m looking for a new literary agent.

If you know of an agent looking for new authors or you are an agent looking to new authors, please send me a note from my Contact Information page.

Thank you to Margaret and her team!

Thanks for reading . . .


Early Drafts: Having Your Novel Reviewed

Last year at this time I was working with Garry Ryan (2011 CWC President) through the CWC mentorship program on my 3rd novel Burnt. Burnt is now with my literary agent, Margaret Hart, awaiting comment.

I sent Garry about 10 pages at a time, he commented, I updated and sent the next 10 pages. I learned something new with each section. If you get the chance to be part of this program, it’s certainly worth it.

Many of you know my brother, Michael Conn, is also an author. I’ve convinced him that the process I went through with Garry improved my novel and that he, Michael, should do this with me for my next novel.

I’ve finished the first draft of my fourth novel, Look the Other Way, and Michael is reviewing it chapter by chapter. I send him one chapter, he comments, I update and on it goes.

At this early stage, Michael gives me his thoughts on story line, whether he likes a character or not, whether he thinks a sentence is foreshadowing something, and if the writing is good enough.

This helps me see the novel through his eyes and understand what impression I’m giving a reader.

It takes time and effort, but if you can find someone willing to do this for you, I recommend it. My only caution is that you must find someone you trust. It’s hard to put writing out there when it’s not in its most polished state.

Thanks for reading . . .


Agent Feedback on Blurb


My wonderful agent, Margaret Hart, and her team at the HSW Literary Agency have come up with a new blurb for Burnt. It still amazes me how many people it takes to write a novel, even when it comes to the blurb and the synopsis.

I was very flattered that they came up with a new and improved version of the blurb. They have read all three of my novels, are familiar with my voice, and were able to tweak my original blurb and it still sounds like me. Pretty cool!

Here is the new blurb . . .

Instead of exchanging vows with her fiancé, Ben Timlin, Kalin Thompson spends her wedding day trapped by a forest fire in the mountains of British Columbia—and the pregnant friend trapped with her has just gone into labour. Meanwhile, Ben hangs from the rafters of a burning building, fighting for his life…

When the cause of the fire that ruins Kalin’s wedding and levels half of her beloved ski resort is declared as arson, finding the firebug responsible becomes Kalin’s personal mission.

In the course of her investigation as director of security at Stone Mountain Resort, Kalin gets on the wrong side of small-town corruption and uncovers more than just arson. There are those who will go to extreme measures to keep Kalin from exposing their secrets. But Kalin will go to extreme measures to protect what is hers.

Naming A Novel


Do you struggle with naming your novel? I do.

My novels are Fracture Line, The Final Gate, and Burnt.

After submitting The Final Gate to my agent, Margaret Hart, I received feedback from her editor that I should change the title.

I think I’m on title 200, and I’m still working on it.

  • Should the title be a line from the novel?
  • Should it be a metaphor?

After picking a title, then comes the research.

  • It the title already used?
  • Does is have a meaning I’m are unaware of?

Then comes the test market. Sending the title out to the people who have read my novel should give me some feedback. But what is they all like different one.

There are so many things to consider.  I think I’m finding the harder than writing the novel, the blurb and the synopsis. Yikes!

How do decide what your title should be? And if you happen to read the blurb for The Final Gate, can you send me a title?