Thursday, 2 April 2015

Harper Collins Review

Anyone who's been here before will probably know that I talk quite a lot about this strange place called 'Authonomy'. It's a site run by the publisher Harper Collins and it's essentially a community of indie writers who help one another to improve their work. home page.
Having this peer group of friendly reviewers is fantastic, making the site well worth a visit for any aspiring author, but there's the added bonus that the top five works each month get selected for 'The Editor's Desk.' (It's written with capital letters - that's how important it is. Some say the desk is made of purest gold and that the walls glow with an unearthly light...)

Anyway, my comic fantasy 'Unreliable Histories' was selected for The Desk at the end of February and the review came in a couple of days ago. I'd been a bit nervous because - well - this was going to be a professional review and who knew what they'd make of it? In the event, I was very pleased. It was thoughtful, it was constructive and, ultimately, it was very encouraging - to the extent that I've now earmarked most of Easter for a thorough edit/re-write. After all, who actually needs chocolate and bunnies?

I'm obviously cherry-picking quite shamelessly from the editor's comments, but some of my favourite remarks included:

"There are many aspects to this manuscript which make it very enjoyable to read... Your style works particularly well in conversation – characters bounce well and believably off one another, which makes for a smooth read. 

"There is some brilliant language here – language which, with some pruning, could prove to be a strong and rolling “historic” account with a twist ...
"Overall, I was impressed by the potential behind the plot/characters, the strength of voice and the depth of the world you have created.

"Trimming (the language in the opening chapters) could leave you with a tighter plot and a more readable novel, with real marketing potential. I hope to be able to read the rest of the work soon! We would be interested in seeing a full manuscript once the feedback has been incorporated."

I have to say, I'm pretty chuffed with that. Thanks to Harper Collins, the Authonomy team, and all my many indie writer friends.

The complete warts-and-all review can be read on the website.

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