With regard to novelists, I’ve written a great deal about listening to the voices of experience when it comes to a writing coach/editor. I shared the following story some years ago in my newsletter and figured it would be just as relevant today.
I received a totally unexpected phone call this past summer. The caller identified himself as Vincent Barrington (sounds like a great name for a character in a novel, no?), a past client of mine. It took me a few seconds to recall the name. After all, as Vince informed me, it had been three years since I’d evaluated his manuscript, a suspense thriller.
“I wrote what I thought was a fairly good book,” Vince told me. “It ran 350 pages. I’d written it three times and of course it was perfect! Then I sent it to you. Ooh boy, was I wrong. You tore me apart.”
Vince told me just how much I’d burst his bubble. He put the manuscript in a drawer and did not even look at it until three years later; until now.
“To be honest, it took me this long to understand why,” he said. “I re-read the manuscript, then re-read your notes, and I realized that all you’d said about it was true. A note to any wanna-be writer who submits work to you: you do tell it like it really is. I think that is so important; there is absolutely no rip-off. Just honesty, for which I thank you.”
Vince said that he was even going to start working on it again, and when he felt that it was a lot better, he’d be back in touch with me. How cool is that! So, it took three years to get through. Better late than never.
HOLIDAY PARTY FOR READERS AND WRITERS
Mysterious Galaxy, a long-established indie bookstore with locations in San Diego and Redondo Beach (near L.A.), will hold a holiday party at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 7th at the San Diego store. I will be joining a lineup of local authors in mingling with attendees and signing copies of my new thriller, FREEDOM’S HAND. All manner of goodies are promised. If you’re in Southern California, I hope to see you there; should be fun. Click on the “holiday party” link for more details, including a list of participating authors.