• A Cut Too Far!

    24 October 2010

    I've been busy! busy! for the last week. The house extension is nearing completion, and I've had to pop round there or deal with issues pertaining to it most days. It's not the sort of work I relish -- choosing toilet roll holders isn't my idea of fun!! -- but it has to be done, so I've just gritted my teeth and got on with things as best I can. In and around all the house chaos, I managed to do my final edit of Ocean of Blood, the second book in the Saga of Larten Crepsley series. I didn't have to make any big changes -- it was just a case of making sure everything was OK and making a few very minor tweaks and corrections. My work on the second book is now complete -- roll on the third!!!

    I received the following email from a fan called Robbie a few weeks back, which I meant to answer earlier but never found time for:

    I was reading through your twitter interview and it got me curious. Have you ever had a scene so violent or bloody in any of the early drafts of your books that caused your editor to request you to re-write it or remove it from the finished version?

    I'm usually very good at censoring myself -- I always try to think what a scene would be like if read out loud in a classroom, and if I feel that I've gone too far, I rein myself in. The only time I had a real issue with one of my editors was over the notoriously gory chapter two in Lord Loss!! When I wrote the first few drafts, it was a terrifying, blood-drenched chapter in which a boy discovers his mother hanging from the ceiling with her head chopped off, his father torn to pieces, and his sister ripped in two. My editor was horrifed!! This time, she said, I had gone too far. Children would be traumatised! Parents would take up arms! I'd be banned from every library and school in the land! I took her comments on board, thought about it at great length, then went back and made just one simple change -- I swapped the father around with the mother, so that instead of finding his Mum hanging from the ceiling minus her head, Grubbs Grady found his decapitated Dad hanging up there instead! And that was perfectly fine!!!!! The lesson being, in children's literature, Mums have to be treated gently (well, demons still ripped her to pieces, but I suppose it was gentler than her original fate!) while you can do whatever you like to Dads!!!!!!!

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