A bright cold crisp December, a desperate spaniel, and mum in the village. What a good recipe for a walk. The smell of the winter has descended on the fields as we natter on, trudging slowly through the dying grass ends and down to the stream in the valley bottom, before wandering up past our medieval church and back to Lil’s bungalow. One hour of bliss.
I tell Mum we want to launch her first book, “When Bends the Bough” in March 2015. It will be on Amazon and Smashwords. I just need to learn how. Marie Pollinger, her agent liked it and sold it in 1989 to a major publishing house (see lils books) So it has passed the good read test. My book has no such accolade yet.
So Lil read it and she gave the most helpful feedback. A really useful lesson in what a writer really wants to hear. It needs a bit of tinkering, a bit of tightening up of a couple of characters, an extra chapter earlier on to explain an act of surprising cruelty. She thought it really rather good, excitingly good, definitely worth pursuing and finding a publisher.
Do I trust her judgement, YES. (others have said its good as well)
I know, I know, the trouble is with friends and relations is that if they like it, their judgement is in doubt due to prejudice, and if they dislike it, then their judgment is in doubt due to sibling rivalry, maternal jealousy, lack of knowledge. I know this, but Lil can write, after all, and has been around a long time. She was honest and told it straight. She also came up with a brilliant idea for my first novel which I will rewrite to remove my early learning mistakes of clunky phrases and unrelentingly nasty characters (I write murder mysteries). Lil says I must put more nice characters in. Otherwise who will the reader identify with, who will they care about? Good advice. She also enjoyed the Yorkshire setting of the small town of Meltonby. A place to be used again in my third novel set around the selection of a local MP. I love murdering people off in a safe and small community full of normal people. It is very satisfying. After all, what is normal.
Bungalow Lil and I had a good day