Yes, that’s right, I got a letter from America, well, technically, it was a package – a book to be precise – but not just any book – Oh, no. This is a book I helped edit.
I ‘met’ the author, R.R.Virdi, in a Facebook writing group when I was starting out editing. In fact, if I remember rightly, he had posted a comment in a thread about the Open University’s Start Writing Fiction course (free) on OpenLearn. We got chatting and he mentioned he had a book, while I happened to mention that I was a wannabe-editor in need of manuscripts to practice on (and I am grateful to all the authors who let me loose on their literary babies. It really helped me work out good [editing] practice and assess my strengths and weaknesses in the ‘real’ world).
As for the book, Grave Beginnings, I was hooked from the first paragraph. There was something about the writing style that made me sit up and take notice, before I knew it I had read the whole of the first chapter and was turning to read the next.
What I loved about working with R.R.Virdi was his eagerness to learn. I can’t remember the exact words he used, but he warned me that it needed a major edit, of both developmental and copy. I just did what I always do and marked up what I liked and didn’t like with explanations of why I felt this way. I highlighted the parts I felt were lacking or unrealistic (even within a fantasy context), offered suggestions for character and plot development, and of course, gave praise where praise was due, mostly where scenes or events took me by surprise as I’ve got a real ‘thing’ about foreshadowing. I love getting surprised when the clues were in sight all along and make it my mission to find them in the early pages of a book.
The best part of editing Grave Beginnings (for me) is that I can see that R.R.Virdi has taken the advice I’ve given him onboard and incorporated it into his second book.
So, anyway… the
letter package from America…
Here’s what it contained:
A paperback copy of Grave Beginnings, including a wonderful mention in the acknowledgments page and a personal message from R.R.Virdi.
Oh, and a wad of bookmarks for secreting into UK bookshops (I’m thinking Waterstones, WH Smiths…) or for giveaways should any fans in the UK like one of these.
And if you would like to buy Grave Beginnings, you can click the button below to be taken to amazon:
And I shall end this post with a massive, humongous THANK YOU to R.R.Virdi for taking the time to sign and send me a limited first edition of Grave Beginnings (there’s a minor fault in the first few copies – now resolved – which means it’ll be worth a mint when he makes the big time – which he will.
Keep an eye on R.R.Virdi. He is a born storyteller.