Home/General

Editorial Analysis: WATCHERS by Dean Koontz Considering deft handling of extreme character arc and a unique characterization challenge in the author’s best-loved novel

Dean Koontz is a very funny guy who while contemplating his future as a geriatric (bunny slippers are involved) says he expects to feel then as he does now: that Watchers is the most satisfying book he’s ever written. He also believes many readers will think it to be his best, no matter how good any other books he has written—or will write in the future—may be.

The editor in me can’t help wondering what’s so special about this story to an […]

By |2020-09-30T18:10:39+00:00|Behind The Bestsllers, Book Reviews and Analysis, General, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, TED Editor Posts, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Editorial Analysis: WATCHERS by Dean Koontz Considering deft handling of extreme character arc and a unique characterization challenge in the author’s best-loved novel

Cultivating Willing Suspension of Disbelief in Crime Fiction Tips and techniques based on two hit novels by Stephen King and Alexandra Sokoloff

A recent article in The New Yorker defines the willing suspension of disbelief as “the reader’s decision to put the argumentative, quibbling part of his mind into neutral and go along for the narrative ride.”

Stephen King is a master at this, and I’m sure I’m not alone in admiring how easy he makes it to engage us with his novels’ supernatural, paranormal, magical, or mystical elements even if we take some comfort in the belief that these things surely can’t exist.  […]

By |2020-06-19T20:55:03+00:00|Behind The Bestsllers, Book Reviews and Analysis, General, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, TED Editor Posts, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Cultivating Willing Suspension of Disbelief in Crime Fiction Tips and techniques based on two hit novels by Stephen King and Alexandra Sokoloff

Q&A With Literary Agent Diane Stockwell

Diane Stockwell joined The Editorial Department in the spring of 2020 and is now available to consult with authors in the later stages of readying manuscripts for publication and submission to agents and publishers.  We’re delighted to have her aboard and to share this brief Q&A  with her.

What single word comes to mind to define the state of traditional publishing today?

Evolving.

What do you see as having changed most in the industry since you began your publishing career twenty-five years […]

By |2020-06-19T20:57:17+00:00|General, Q&A, RSB|Comments Off on Q&A With Literary Agent Diane Stockwell

Spotlight on Editing for Science, Nature, Environment, and Animal Advocacy Books Book planning, book proposal development, manuscript critique, developmental editing, line editing, and fact-checking with bestselling author Jonathan Balcombe

Neil deGrasse Tyson once said: “Science literacy is the artery through which the solutions of tomorrow’s problems flow.” If you’re a nonfiction author who’s serious about educating readers and improving public literacy with anything related to science, the environment, or the natural world and its inhabitants, then we’re glad you’re here. The Editorial Department has an experienced science editor on staff to help you craft a fine work of writing and dramatically improve your odds of successful publication.  […]

By |2020-06-20T18:46:52+00:00|General, JB, The Editorial Process|Comments Off on Spotlight on Editing for Science, Nature, Environment, and Animal Advocacy Books Book planning, book proposal development, manuscript critique, developmental editing, line editing, and fact-checking with bestselling author Jonathan Balcombe

Editorial Analysis: BLUE MOON by Lee Child Considering what works and what could work better in Jack Reacher # 24

Author’s note: As a reader, I’m a loyal fan of the Jack Reacher series, awaiting each release with rabid anticipation. As a professional editor, I’m a longtime admirer of what Lee Child does well and, at times, a constructive critic of what I believe he could do better. I write about Lee Child often because I love his work and think there’s a lot to be learned from him. His fall 2019 release Blue Moon has given me plenty to […]

By |2020-06-16T17:33:07+00:00|Behind The Bestsllers, Book Reviews and Analysis, General, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, TED Editor Posts, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Editorial Analysis: BLUE MOON by Lee Child Considering what works and what could work better in Jack Reacher # 24

Grisham vs. Grisham Considering authorial freedom within the confines of genre fiction

Did a bestselling master of his genre write the same novel twice?

On first glance, it might look that way. The premise and plot setups of John Grisham’s 1999 release The Testament and his 2013 release Sycamore Row are remarkably similar. Both novels feature:

  • The suicide of a wealthy man with a terminal disease, right at the beginning of the book.
  • The discovery of a last-minute handwritten holographic will that diverts a vast fortune from the family of expectant heirs to an […]
By |2020-06-16T17:33:33+00:00|Behind The Bestsllers, Book Reviews and Analysis, General, Mystery / Suspense, Recommended Reading, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Grisham vs. Grisham Considering authorial freedom within the confines of genre fiction