The world was a different place when my first novel, Hard Copy, was published back in 1998. The internet was in its infancy, my laptop was the size of a sewing machine and when I sent an email I had to follow dial-up instructions running to two sides of A4 paper. Even then I rarely succeeded.
I began writing the book when I enrolled on Manchester University’s MA in novel writing. The course was the first to focus on novels rather than creative writing (as UEA did) and along with future luminaries like Sophie Hannah and Sam Bain I was one of the very first intake.
Once I’d completed my degree I turned the 50,000 words I’d written into a full-length novel. I made photographer Anna Armitage the lead character and changed the name of my cynical hack (who I’m secretly rather fond of) from Sam Rutter to Sam Turner.
Hard Copy was published in hardback and paperback and did reasonably well at the time, but there’s never been an ebook version. Until now, that is. The novel has been given a stylish new cover and published this week by Piatkus Entice.
So what is it about? Well, it’s the story of Anna, a 20-something who’s determined to reach the top as a Fleet Street photographer. But when she teams up with former high-flying reporter Sam Turner they miss the big story and a rival newspaper gets the scoop instead. They’re determined to save their careers though and together they battle against megalomaniac proprietors and ruthless news editors to prove themselves once more.
The Daily Mirror called it “fast and furious,” while the Belfast Telegraph declared that “if you enjoy pace, dialogue and a glimpse of life behind the headlines, you’ll love this.” I just hope new readers agree.
Hard Copy by Emma Lee-Potter (Piatkus, £3.99)