When I wrote my debut novel Six Dead Men it was meant to be a stand-alone piece. I was already working on a Sci Fi Novel and had several other ideas floating about for new novels. It also had a very different ending to the current one. My ART at the time (a writing group run by Caroline Natzler) were insistent I change my planned ending. Here was this bunch of hard core writers who demanded the perfect word in exactly the right spot and my realistic ending was proving too traumatising for them. Who could have predicted it? Certainly not me.
It took me a while to rethink my ending (an entire summer if I recall correctly) to find a closing which didn’t involve a rewrite of the entire novel. This made the writing process a touch challenging but I believe it produced a better book. However, it also woke the voices of the subsidiary characters who then demanded I write something just for them. It's the reason I now also have Six Degrees, a book of short stories in the series. But that is a post for another day.
That first step of listening intently to what my readers were saying was a crucial one for me to take. Collective sighs of relief flooded our writing group when I returned with the altered ending and Kleenex lost out on a considerable amount of revenue that day. It was initially this experience which made me realise the importance of having an ART and is the reason I insist on each of my new books going through the same process. I end up with gut wrenching anxiety each and every time but know it will be to the book's advantage in the long run. With this in mind there is a whole lot of nail biting going on as my ART goes through their reading of Memoirs of a Feline Familiar. I look forward to all the comments and edits to come.
Without my readers I am at best a mediocre writer. Giving you what you want makes me up my game and improves the quality of my work on a daily basis. So huge thanks for all the feedback.
A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR YOU
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