Debut L.V. Matthews: Why Perseverance Pays Off

November 14, 2020



L.V. Matthews has been titled a “standout” debut and it’s obvious why. Her newly anticipated thriller, “The Prank” is set for release in March 2021 and I CANNOT wait to get my hands on it. It’s every thriller fan’s dream, but with a unique, modern take on the genre. “The Prank” offers a toxic mix of revenge, obsessiveness AND a reality TV show gone wrong. I’m already drooling over this concept.

You can pre-order here! And judging by the cover (because I certainly do) this novel creeps me out- in a good way.

What I love about Liv’s journey towards publication are the setbacks she’s endured along the way. She’s already written a book and shelved it, before trying again. That determination is what gets writers over the line. Being a writer from a young age does that, because no matter what, the urge to write and create worlds will never let up.

In the end, “The Prank” secured Liv representation from an A grade agent, once again teaching us hopeful writers to push on through.

How long have you been writing? 

Since I could pick up a pen! I started writing about my toys having adventures and my mum patiently stapled bits of paper together and was forever spelling out words I didn’t know (like, all of them!)

What led to your offer of representation with an agent (or contract with a publisher, if you went that way around first?) 

Grit, sweat and tears?! It was the age old ‘wait and see’ – sending off partials, the dreaded synopsis and 3 chapters to my A list agents and seeing if any of them would bite.

How long did you have to wait to hear back and was it a partial or full request? 

On the back of the partial, I had a lot of requests for a full manuscript which I think speeded my submission process because I was having to update agents. I think it was about a fortnight until I then arranged a meeting with my now agent.

How many submissions did you make prior to gaining representation/publishing contract?  

I think I submitted to 8 agents before I got representation. But I’d written a book previously which no one took (and I’d also sent that to my agent – goes to show that persistence does work!)

Any tips on cover letters/synopsis/pitches? 

  • Do your research – Everyone says it but really, it’s the key. I spent a lot of time on agent websites, looking up their existing clients, what their individual submission process was. Do the hard work so the agent doesn’t have to – figure out where your book will sit in the market so they can understand where you see your book and who you might compare yourself to.
  • Keep the covering letter short – agents don’t have time to read pages of why you think they should take your book. Efficient, friendly, professional. Know your pitch/hook.
  • Synopsis – URGH. I HATE THEM. Keep them short – 2 pages are ideal. Don’t worry about flowery language. Know what your book is about and where it goes so an agent can get the arc of the narrative straight away.

Your first reaction when they offered the representation/contract? 

I met my agent in a cafe after some back and forth on email. Her vision for the book was amazing and we clicked as people (so important!) and she closed the meeting by offering me representation. I WAS SO HAPPY!!

The night I was offered a publishing deal was bizarre – The Prank had already gone out and hadn’t had any offers so I’d buried it completely and was polishing another. But my agent – who always loved and championed The Prank and is furiously and wonderfully tenacious – asked if she could submit it to a new fledgling company. I truly didn’t think anything would come of it. So imagine my surprise when she texted me with champagne bottle emojis!

What’s next for you? 

The Prank is a one deal contract so after this… who knows?! I’ve written 2 more books so I’m hoping/praying that they’ll get picked up too!

It’s once again so lovely to hear from a debut who’s been writing their whole life and kept that determination boiling. It certainly paid off for Liv!

Thanks for being on the blog, Liv! Can’t wait to read The Prank in March 2021.