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How to get published: Six first-time authors tell their stories

PUBLISHED: 16:36 14 October 2010 | UPDATED: 17:57 20 February 2013

Anthony Clavane's book Promised Land

Anthony Clavane's book Promised Land

Ever thought about writing a book? Anthony Clavane came up with the idea for a book that linked his two obsessions - football and writing - and was lucky enough to have three publishers express an interest

Ever thought about writing a book? Anthony Clavane came up with the idea for a book that linked his two obsessions - football and writing - and was lucky enough to have three publishers express an interest




ANTHONY CLAVANE The Promised Land




The book
Drawing on the tradition of Fever Pitch and The Damned Utd, Promised Land is part memoir, part social and cultural history. It explores industrial and post-industrial Leeds, the role of the Jewish community in the making of the city and the football club, and the rise of working class Leeds writers such as Alan Bennett and Keith Waterhouse. What is different about my book is that it places the rise and fall of a famous football club in a wider cultural context. It is unusual in telling two hidden histories of Leeds: the role of Jewish immigrants in the making of the city (and the club) and the rise of ambitious working-class writers in the 1960s.


The writing/publishing process
Two years ago I decided to write a book about my twin obsessions football and writing. I decided that Leeds the club and the writers who came from the city would be an ideal subject. I approached an agent, David Luxton, who pitched the idea to various publishers. I had to write a synopsis, a prospective structure and a 2,000 word extract. Three publishers expressed interest, and in the end I chose Random House the Yellow Jersey imprint.
I was given an advance paid in three parts over the two years and I spent those years researching, interviewing and writing. The British Library became my second home. It is perhaps the last place in Britain where you can work in silence and it has every book under the sun. I finished the book about six months ago. My editor suggested a number of changes, most of which I implemented, and the book was published on August 19 two weeks after my 50th birthday. I had a launch at Leeds Museum, then another one in London. Its a bit like the Queen having two birthdays. Finally, I had an event at my local Wivenhoe Bookshop in Essex which was the best event of all, because my family and friends were there.


Anthony Clavane lives in Wivenhoe. Before becoming a Sunday Mirror sports writer he was an award-winning feature writer for the EADT

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