I have been asked about the assessor that I used to advise me if I could write, and if my book was entertaining and worth reading. After all writing is a branch of the entertainment industry and fiction has to be entertaining if you wish to keep the reader’s attention so that he or she will keep turning the pages.
Thanks to the internet I was able to research a number of assessors before deciding on Tom Flood of Flood Manuscripts.
In 1990 Mr Flood’s novel Oceana Fine won the Miles Franklin Award , which is Australia’s most prestigious literature prize. The prize is awarded each year for a novel of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases.
I checked the list of authors who have also won this award – very impressive.
During my investigation I found out that Tom Flood had also won the Victorian Premiers Award, the Australian/Vogel Award and the Orange Banjo Paterson Short Story Award. For my none Australian readers Orange is the name of a famous city in Australia. Flood’s writing was also exhibited in the National Museum of Australia.
I never did meet Mr Flood during all the time we corresponded via e-mails. His business address is a three hour train ride from my place so I stuck to e-mailing.
My original manuscript was over 160,000 words and with Tom’s guidance I managed to reduce it to around 120,000 words, which was still high for an unknown author.
Once I’d received the report from Flood Manuscript that in their opinion I could write, I started searching for an editor, and I wanted a female editor so to have input about the story from the opposite sex.
In today’s ‘enlightened age’ I suppose I was being politically incorrect by choosing an editor by their sex, rather than by their qualifications, but I was sure that I could find the right editor who just happened to have both qualifications. The other small detail was that I was paying!
It took me some time to find the ‘right’ person, because I’d never spoken to or had any dealings with an editor of either sex.
Eventually I found Louise Wareham Leonard, a writer who was born in New Zealand, moved to New York with her parents at the age of twelve, attended the United Nations International School and then Colombia. She has BA in Comparative Literature and Society.
Her first book Since you asked won the James Jones Literary Award,
and her second book Miss me a lot of was released in 2008.
Her third book was released in 2015, but this was in the future of the time that I was researching.
Once again all correspondence was via e-mail because ‘my’ editor lived in Western Australia and I live in NSW. The tyranny of distance was not a problem and we soon built a rapport and the manuscript was pulled apart, tweaked and rebuilt. Of course all this takes time, but as the title of this blog states – plant now and harvest later, which was my plan once I’d finished writing Ice King
When Ice King was picked up by a UK publisher, and republished as Triangle Trade they had the manuscript edited once again by their own editor. I am happy to report that they only found five very small items in the manuscript to change and one of those was to satisfy the current PC brigade and had nothing to do with either Flood Manuscripts or Louise Wareham Leonard.