• An editor’s tears

    14 January 2022

    I sent Volume 3 (the final volume) of my Archibald Lox series to my editor, Zoe, at the start of this month. Although I'll be breaking it down to release as three short books, I wrote the story arc as one long novel, and that's the way Zoe has edited the series, one complete Volume at a time. She got back to me yesterday after reading through Volume 3 for the first time, and this was what she had to say about it:


    "Finished the first run of the last Archie today. 
    Cried like a baby. 
    Had to go out for a bit of fresh air to get my breath back. Then sat down at my desk and cried a bit more. 
    Absolutely bloody brilliant. Evil, in places, but brilliant. 
    And that ending...


    I've got to say, in more than a quarter of a century of sending books to editors, I've NEVER had a reaction like that before!! It had me grinning all day -- in truth, I'm still grinning even as I type this!!


    As I revealed in a post last year, Volume 3 nearly broke me as a writer. I got 100 pages into it, then ended up setting it aside for more than three years. There were a number of reasons behind the "pause," but one of them was that it didn't have the narrative thrust that I (and my readers!) demand of a story. I could feel it starting to drift, and didn't have a firm enough plot in place to get in back on track. Eventually I saw what I had to do, and ended up throwing pretty much everything I had into it, to create what I ended up feeling was the crowning glory of the series, a dark, twisting, action-packed monster of a storyline that would keep readers gripped and put through the emotional wringer.


    The trouble was, I'd ended up feeling really good about Volume 1 as well, but had the wind knocked out of my sails when my agent and publishers didn't like it. (Which is the main reason this series is self-published.) I was fully prepared to be disappointed again, for Zoe to politely say that it would need an awful lot of work to knock it into shape, and that I'd have to change loads of things. That's the main reason I've been vague about when I'm going to release Volume 3 -- I didn't want to commit to a date in case I ended up having to spend several more months re-writing and editing.


    Instead, Zoe came back with the most glowing response I've ever had from an editor (and she's edited quite a lot of my work by this stage, as she works on my Darren Dash novels), and that's got me all excited and raring to go, as I'm keen to see if the rest of you dig it as much as she has!! I'm not going to tie myself to a specific date just yet, but I'm going to aim to release book 7 in late spring or early summer, and books 8 and 9 (and the omnibus edition for those of you who want to read the story as it was originally written) hot on its heels.


    If you haven't yet started my Archibald Lox series, this would be a great time to begin, as you should be finishing with the first two Volumes as the third one is due to see print. You can find some easy buying links in the January issue of my online newsletter -- it's worth noting that although the eBook sale that I mention in the newsletter has now finished, I decided to reduce the regular price of books 2, 3 and 4, as well as the two omnibus editions (I'll be writing more about that next week). The eBooks are going for a steal, folks -- for a STEAL!!! :-)




    (The drawing is by a fan called Amity Lee, and features the two main characters, Archie and Inez. I've featured it before, but this seemed like a good time to share it again.)


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