Tina Seskis took big steps to pen ‘One Step Too Far’
- Credit: Archant
Writer/publisher who went it alone returns to read her novel where career first blossomed
After being knocked back last Christmas by a number of literary agents and publishers, Tina Seskis had to make a decision – give up on her book and get a job or publish it her own way.
Five months later, her novel, One Step Too Far, has ranked as high as number 35 in the Amazon Kindle charts, with copies continuing to sell healthily.
Needless to say, she made the right decision.
“It’s really positive news for people in the same position as I was,” says Seskis, who lives in Archway and attended creative writing classes at Highgate’s Lauderdale House. “I’ve been making comparisons against big publishing houses and a lot of the figures are looking strong.”
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Kirk Parolles, the publishing company set up by Seskis, has proved a revelation. Established in three-and-a-half months, it provided the writer with the professional clout she felt self-publishing might lack.
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This necessity was down to Seskis’s belief that One Step Too Far could rise to the top commercially.
It tells the story of Emily Coleman, a wife and mother in Manchester who abandons everything to move into a grimy flat in north London. Seskis takes great pride in the secret, shocking reason for Coleman’s actions.
“I came up with the twist first and thought ‘this is genius’, so everything from there worked towards it. They say never get your friends and family to read your books, but I’d go to parties and just ask everyone to read it.
“I still haven’t had a single person turn around and say they’ve guessed the ending.”
There are secrets to Kirk Parolles’s success too, with one being of particular importance.
After deciding to set up the business, Seskis went through every contact she had to ensure the book looked as good as it read.
“My strategy was make the product a hundred per cent as professional as I could. One of my friends who’d read the book loved the front cover, which is quite striking, and said it would look brilliant in the WH Smith at Euston. I wrote to them and didn’t expect to hear anything back, but they asked for a copy and then ordered two thousand.”
Having only planned to sell the book online, it was a manic few months for Seskis. With the novel soon to be available in Waterstones, she just managed to print enough copies in time for the pre-scheduled April release.
Now enjoying rave reviews and a steady flow of books being printed, she is looking towards her second book, but is also happy to take submissions.
“I’m looking for well-written novels with water-tight plots. It’s the worst feeling when you read a book all the way through only to be disappointed by the ending.
“I’m deliberately not asking for a synopsis though, unlike a lot of other publishers. Instead I judge it on what I like, as well as the writing style.”
Seskis is returning to Lauderdale House for a reading of her novel on Thursday, June 13.
Now on the other side as a writer and publisher, she remains indebted to her teacher, Penny Faith.
“Before all this happened, Penny offered to stage a reading at the house, but I had little confidence. “That’s where it all started for me though and it means so much that she was willing to do that before I’d even sold a copy.”
For more information about Tina, visit tinaseskis.com, for her reading, visit lauderdalehouse.co.uk.