Good news! (And a peek at some old diary entries)

I’m in the process of moving house and, in the middle of the arduous task of clearing out the attic, I stumbled across some of my old diaries. These made for very entertaining reading which I will shortly share with you.

Before that though, I have something else to share – good news! I recently sent off the manuscript for A Class Entwined (Book 2 in my A Matter of Class series) to my editor for a manuscript assessment. I then spent a few weeks biting my nails as I anxiously awaited her feedback. Last week, she got in touch. And I’m so excited to say that she came back with Continue reading

Behind every writer there needs to be an editor

After making the decision to self-publish my first novel, A Class Apart, this year (if you missed that announcement, you can read all about it here), I compiled a very long list of all the things I will need to do to achieve that goal. It covers everything from learning how to keep basic financial accounts to working out book marketing strategies, but top of the list was choosing an editor.

I’ll be honest and admit that, due to the cost of it, I had originally hoped to sidestep it altogether. I pride myself on being a really good proofreader (the six readers of my recently-completed second novel, A Class Entwined, returned one typo from over 88,000 words) and I had the temerity to believe I had moulded A Class Apart into a pretty decent shape, maybe even a shape decent enough to sell to the public. But then I came to my senses. I’m Continue reading

This book really makes me want to become an editor

I’ve read a book that has left me itching to attack it with a red pen, so much so that I’m going to dissect it here and say what I would have done if I had been the book’s editor. This is not to say that I thought the book was all bad – in fact, I really liked its premise and judged it to have a lot of potential. It was the execution of the story and the writing that left me disappointed. So, rather than looking at this as a criticism of what the book was, I’d rather view it as a lament for what it could have been.

Alert No.1: In writing this post, I do not claim to be better than professional editors working in the industry. This is my subjective opinion which stemmed from my reading experience of the book in question.

Alert No.2: To speak about the book’s strengths and shortcomings, I will be revealing much of the storyline. Therefore don’t read on if you’d like to avoid spoilers!

So what’s the book? It’s called So Much Owed by Jean Grainger, a work of historical fiction set in Ireland and Continue reading

That scary moment…

…when you give your manuscript to others to read. Eek! It feels something akin to going out in public with no clothes on. It’s a terrifying prospect but a necessary step towards the ultimate goal. (Thankfully, no nakedness actually required.)

After a sporadic December, January turned out to be a productive month and I completed the eleventh draft of the first book in my historical fiction series less than half way into February. Yes, draft number eleven. I first put pen to paper (luminous orange ink in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer notebook) on this story back in distant 2002 and Continue reading

2016: Time to take stock

Another year has passed which means it’s time to look back over 2016 and assess how it went!

December 2016On a global scale, I think many people are in agreement that the year has been something of a disaster, with regard to both international politics and the loss of numerous celebrity greats. On a personal level, I’ve found it to be a year of bad luck in quite a few different aspects, although there were memorable moments too, including special weddings of very close friends. But, for the purposes of this blog, the question is how did I fare out in writing terms?

My final post of 2015 included these words: “2016 will see Continue reading

Oh, how I regret my pantser days…

Hi, my name is Susie and I’m a recovering pantser. It’s been three and a half years since my last transgression.

And I’m still paying for it…

When I first began to think seriously about trying to get published, I started reading blogs dedicated to the craft of writing. I soon found that one topic writers often like to talk about is that of the PLOTTER versus the PANTSER. If you type those terms into your search bar, you will get tons of articles on the subject.

So what’s it all about? A plotter is someone who Continue reading

The adverbs. Oh, the frequently-used adverbs.

Stephen King is famous for having said, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Once upon a time, I would have disagreed with him. Now? I’d pat him on the back and apologise for ever  doubting him.

I have done a complete turnaround in my attitude to adverbs. A couple of years ago, I wrote a book review of the Harry Potter series and in it I defended J.K. Rowling’s heavy use of adverbs. (It speaks volumes that I did a Google Image search for ‘adverbs bad writing’ and a picture of Rowling came up…) Now I cringe when Continue reading

The Editing Process AKA That period when no one sees me for weeks and I contemplate throwing my computer out the window

It’s one thing to write a book. It’s quite another to edit it, and it requires a particular blend of patience and stubbornness!

I have been working on my historical romance series for years and it has now gone through several edits. There have been six or seven major ones, although certain sections have been edited up to twenty times, especially Continue reading