News room: CompletelyNovel Elevator Pitch: Alan Baker

CompletelyNovel Elevator Pitch: Alan Baker by Anna Lewis

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself stuck in an elevator with exactly the kind of publisher that might be interested in publishing your book?

Would you punch all the buttons and run out screaming at the earliest opportunity, or would you grab the bull by the horns and pitch your heart out.*

We took to the elevator with writer Alan Baker who has published The Martian Ambassador as well as a number of other books on CompletelyNovel, to see how he copes under the pressure!

*Slyly pushing the emergency button so that they are trapped in there with you for hours is not an option by the way.

So, here we go…


The Elevator Pitch

COMPLETELYNOVEL: Sell us your book! Can you give us a couple of sentences to sum up the plot of your book that will make us want to hear more?

ALAN BAKER: A Victorian secret agent and his winsome colleague investigate the murder of the Martian Ambassador to the Court of St James’s. They uncover a fiendish plot to ignite an interplanetary war between Earth and Mars.

CN: Who are the main characters?

ALAN: Thomas Blackwood, Special Investigator for Her Majesty’s Bureau of Clandestine Affairs; Lady Sophia Harrington, Secretary of the Society for Psychical Research; Detective Gerhard de Chardin of the Metropolitan Templar Police; Shanahan, a faerie.

CN: What category would you put your book into?

ALAN: Steampunk, a sub-genre of science fiction and fantasy which imagines a Victorian past with enhanced technology, such as steam-powered computers, automata, interplanetary dirigibles, etc. Steampunk is constantly growing in popularity, and many expect it to break out into the mainstream culture in a big way.

CN: What makes your book unique?

ALAN: I believe it is the first steampunk adventure to play with H G Wells’s ideas in quite the way it does (but I’m not absolutely sure, so by Jove don’t quote me!).

CN: Can you name any other authors or books with an audience who would be likely to enjoy reading your book?

ALAN: I would hope that fans of Alan Moore, Michael Moorcock and “China Mieville” would enjoy it, as well as devotees of writers such as H G Wells, Jules Verne and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

CN: What experience do you have when it comes to writing – is this your first book?

ALAN: This is my fifth novel; however, I have published twelve non-fiction books on diverse subjects with several major publishers.

CN: Have you had any feedback from readers?

ALAN: Yes, all of it very positive (thank goodness).

CN: Anything else we should know about your book?

ALAN: It’s the first in a series, called the Blackwood & Harrington Mysteries. The second will feature a haunted London Underground, and the third will feature Blackwood and Sophia going for a much-needed holiday to Atlantis (which never sank, and is still a large island in the mid-Atlantic, popular with winter tourists), and finding themselves embroiled in another thrilling adventure!

CN: Thanks Alan – looks like we’ve reached our floor now and we’ll be dashing off to check out your book!

You can read and buy a copy of Alan Baker’s The Martian Ambassador on CompletelyNovel.

Pitch your book on

If you would like to try your hand at an elevator pitch, please email with ‘Elevator pitch’ in the subject line and remember to include a link to your website or page on
If you’re trying to get published, we’d love to hear you pitch your book!

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Written by
Anna Lewis
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Elevator pitch