And now for some good news…

Branching out.


I’d planned to post something about anthologies, but that will have to wait. Why? I’ll tell you because a lot has been happening. No, I haven’t finished the first draft of The Caretaker yet. However…drum roll….

I signed a contract recently with Joffe Books for my two Brit thrillers, Standpoint and Line of Sight to be published as ebooks. They also have the first option on the other three books in the Thomas Bladen series. The Caretaker is the next in line, so that rather creates a welcome sense of urgency.

Another nugget of positivity was seeing a letter of mine in the Winter 2014 edition of the Society of Author’s journal, The Author.

Writers spend much of their times in their heads, or facing a page / screen. After that it’s a strange and often bewildering journey to get a response, never mind personalised feedback you can actually work with.

How wondrous and stranger still to receive an invitation to submit something and then, after a few weeks and some rapid emails back and forth, an offer of a contract.

The blank page still needs to be faced every writing day and I’m the same person I ever was (although, it has to be said, there’s a little spring in my step now). However, now, for the first time in quite a while, I’m eager to see what the edits look like from someone in the industry – what they read into the stories and what they think does or not suit the market. 

As far as I’m concerned I’ve written my book/s I wanted to write, so bar a culling of any of my favourite characters, I’m open to any improvements that will turn a writers’ tale into a commercial novel.

If you write short fiction or novel length stories, is there anything you draw the line at when it comes to other people’s edits?

10 comments

  1. diane cresswell says:

    I couldn't be happier Derek for you. This is fabulous and definitely need to get your books. As to your question… if the edit stays true to your vision then I would accept rewrites but, if somehow the editing takes a completely different approach to what the structure of the story is presenting, then I would call a halt and check in with the editor to see where he or she are coming from in relation to what you have written. Proofing is one thing, but editing is to make sure that the story flows well, keeping sequence and reader involved. Stray from that – the story changes and then who is the writer? Just my own little thoughts.

  2. Monika says:

    CONGRATUFREAKINLATIONS! That is so, so, so very wonderful. And to answer a question asked in another forum, no, I haven't read The Caretaker. I don't think.

  3. Maria says:

    Hello Derek, Sounds like you are having a wonderful 2015, well done on your recent successes. To answer your question, if its an article, or short story, I'm not precious, as I want to see my work published, so if a different ending is required, fair enough.
    However, if I was lucky enough to have an offer on a novel, but I would have to do A,B and C, involving major rewrites and a change of structure, i would really have to think about it.

  4. Hi Maria, thanks for your views. It's all about the fine print, as it were. I do have a small list of elements in Book 1 that I wouldn't be willing to sacrifice. That's partly because they feature in subsequent novels. I look forward to seeing their feedback!

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