Saturday, 28 April 2012

Editors, Singing Wolves and Picture Books- Enid Richemont

I've just been re-reading Linda Newbery's post on editors and editing, and I think that, on the whole, I've been very lucky. For my earlier books with Walker, I worked with Wendy Boase, Anne Carter and later, Mara Bergman, and in nearly every case, the process of editing brought added richness to the stories. A really good editor is like a midwife (sorry, guys, but even you can be pregnant with a good story which might have to be eased into the world in the most appropriate way). For one YA book, THE GAME, the introduction of a new character was suggested. I kicked, screamed and objected, finally capitulated, experimented - et voila! Something  amazing happened (thank you, Anne).

The next of my out of print YA Walker books to become available as an ebook  will be WOLFSONG. It's set in a big, ancient house in Brittany, a real house which played an important part in my own life - its name, 'Chanteloup', translating satisfyingly into WOLFSONG - the song of the wolf (on the left is a drawing I made of it many years ago, when we stayed there). Recently I learnt that there had been a major fire, that much of the house had been destroyed, and while I was saddened by the news, the incident seemed to chime with the anima of the place. 'A house like that has a soul', my French friend said. I never doubted it.

On the subject of ebooks, I've just finished reading John Logan's 'THE SURVIVAL OF THOMAS FORD.' It was a two day read, and wasn't the kind of book I'd usually enjoy reading, but John's part of the Authors Electric team, and I thought I should. Turned down by a number of publishers (see John's blog for the full painful story), it's now a best-seller on Amazon, and for good reason - it's a brilliantly written and terrifying thriller which I hope will eventually be made into a film. In conventional publishing, the good will endure, and the rest will end up in a charity shop. In e-publishing the same is true, except that the charity shops will miss out.

Re - editing again. At present I'm working, re-working and editing my latest picture book text  (my current affair with a dancing hippo) so it was interesting to read Malachy Doyle's post on Picturebookden. Malachy has five picture books publishing this year. All of them had an average ten year gestation period. The very best picture books come out of the same discipline as the very best poetry, and it's hard, hard writing.

And a postscript. On April 23rd, World Book Night, I joined a number of other AuthorsElectric members to give away three of my books. Two of them, TWICE TIMES DANGER, and, THE STONE THAT GREW, had been published before, so this was a second lifespan for them. The third, DRAGONCAT, had never been published until I did it myself, and I was curious to see whether it would attract many readers. The results were overwhelming. All three books stayed, for two days, on Amazon's 100 top Bestsellers list, and DRAGONCAT made it, briefly, to number 1 in its category. It was both exhilarating and informative. The times, they are certainly a-changing.



2 comments:

julia jones said...

What an excellent post. Thank you very much Enid.

Linda Newbery said...

Wow! I love your drawing, Enid.