It’s been a hard couple of years for me, I have stage four bowel cancer, and I’m young. Seems cruel, doesn’t it? To make matters worse I didn’t seem able to write anymore. When the concept for That Elusive Cure popped into my head, I found myself writing for the first time in over a year. I knew this was a purge novel. I channelled many of my own experiences, fears and hopelessness into this novel and I am well aware that purge style novels can end up too personal, too ‘woe is me’, too close to the issues at hand to allow the reader to connect and care. With some trepidation I approached Johnny and asked him to take a look.
As usual, Johnny was professional and pragmatic. He asked for a blurb and synopsis and then proceeded to tear into the synopsis, asking question upon question until he was satisfied the bones of the novel worked. This can be frustrating, but it’s such a worthwhile exercise. As the author I am too close to the book to see where I’ve missed connections or pulled readers outside of the zone of believability, and Johnny first made sure that the novel had sturdy foundations.
After this exercise, he produced a sample edit of the first chapter. To be honest, having worked with Johnny before, I know his style of editing and know I can work well with him. But for anyone looking into Johnny’s editing style for the first time, the sample chapter lets you know exactly what you’re going to get in an editor.
Then we got going on the edits. Johnny shaped and defluffed my novel and I’ve now got a wonderful streamlined book. I am a published indie author and I also have a two book deal with Simon & Schuster. With That Elusive Cure I plan on trying to hook that elusive agent. Failing that, I know I have a polished manuscript that I can take to either S&S or publish myself.
To those reading this and thinking that with a big publisher on board, why would I even consider going to Johnny and paying for edits that my publisher would give me for free? The answer is because I trust Johnny. And even with that publisher backing me, I still want to show them the best version on my book, not a possibly confused or over wordy book.
I look forward to bringing my next project to Johnny.