See My Editor Tear My Work To Shreds

The Short version:

An author tries not to cry as he reads the "suggested" changes from his editor on the first page of his manuscript.

The Details

This is a page from my soon to be released book, Flickers. It's a novel set in Hollywood during the silent movie era. I've lost track of how many drafts I've done of this book. Let's just put it at more than ten and fewer than two hundred. And yet, there are still mistakes made. Places that can be cleaned up. Prose that can be un-purpled. And that's why we have editors (this post goes hand in hand with my "My Editor Says These Two Words I Use Make Kitties Cry" post).

The Edits

Just click on the image to make it bigger. Click a second time and it will grow even bigger. Click a third time and you'll be able to see the tear stains on the page.

flickersedit

All the best,

Art

Review: Clariel by Garth Nix

IMG_3819 I'm going to start by pointing out that I have a soft spot for Sabriel, the first book in Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series. Clariel, which I just finished, is a prequel to the series and I'll get right to "reviewing" the book after I explain why I have a soft spot.

Many years ago (1997) my first novel came out and I did my first reading at Bastion Books in Nanaimo, British Columbia. When I was finished, Thora, the bookstore owner, said, "I want to give you a book as a thank you." And she handed Sabriel to me (bookstore owners seem to have an ESP when it comes to choosing the right book for the right person). I fell in love with the tone, the magic, and the ability of the author to make a new and interesting fantasy world ring with truth. So that's why I have a soft spot. I, of course, I read the following two books in the series.

Flashforward to now. Clariel, the prequel, was released almost twenty years later. I wondered if Nix could return to that world and capture the same voice. I'm pleased to say that the book rings with the same believability and authenticity as the trilogy (in other words the Old Kingdom still feels real). Clariel is a strong character with stark choices to make in her life. And the story itself does not feel as if it's a retread of the other novels. In fact it's a pleasure to see the Kingdom in its more idyllic days (uh, not that everything is rosy--far from it--there are intrigues within intrigues in the palace and, on top of that, the constant threat of free magic creatures). And it's a pleasure to have Mogget, the cat who is more than a cat, come back to life again (one of my favourite characters in fantasy fiction). All in all, a tale well told.

When I was finished, I began reading Sabriel again. The two books work well together (even though the stories take place hundreds of years apart). So if you haven't read any of this series start with Clariel. Then follow the path from there... 

 

Art