Monday, February 8, 2010

congratulations, Rhonda

Hi Rhonda!

Hope Gladiatrix is selling well for you! Isn't it a great feeling to see your book actually sitting on bookshop shelves. And since Gladiatrix has an excellent cover, hopefully sitting cover face-out!

How difficult was it to add those extra words to bring the novel up to what your publisher wanted? Me, I find it easier to cut words - up to a point, anyway. Whereas adding new stuff in that's as good as the old stuff, AND fits perfectly, AND looks as though it was always meant to be there - that's hard. An extra quarter in length sounds like a whole new sub-plot. Or were there a lot of small areas where you'd pulled in tighter than you really wanted in first version, so it was natural to expand and easy to give characters and episodes the length they'd always really wanted?

(I ask this as a fellow Illawarra inhabitant - which means, by the Illawarrriors' Oath, you have to answer with absolute fearless honesty!)



Rhonda Roberts said...

Thanks Richard, yeah I love the cover too. Stephanie Smith the editor and Darren Holt and the design team at HarperCollins did a great job didn't they.

Good question about the expansion in length. The advice I was given was: 'don't cut anything - just put more meat on the bones.' So basically I just expanded where appropriate with an eye to keeping the pacing as brisk as possible.

It wasn't hard. I try to aim for a minimalist style and had, thru the endless redrafting, cut out more than I needed to.


Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Sounds like you might be a bare bones writer, Rhonda.

In my first draft I'm just getting the story down. Then I go back and add the frills, the description etc.

Rhonda Roberts said...

Let's say I aspire to be bare bones... :-)

I love the old noir detective writers like Raymond Chandler and their quirky dees who do great one liners. Sigh, I wish...:-)

Yep my first drafts are all about getting the crime and clues in the right place. Time travel is great fun but can be a real headache too.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Have you read Simon Green's Nightside series? It is wonderful combination of Noir Detective and Paranormal.

Time travel is tricky. I must read your book to see how you handle it.

Rhonda Roberts said...

Thanks for that Rowena - I'll definitely have a look for Simon Green's series!

Yes, there are some interesting paranormal detectives around - Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake vampire hunter, Jim Butcher's wizard dee and Kim Harrison's witch dee.

Though for me the break thru was when I read Sara Paretsky's VI Washawski straight detective novels. Her female lead is so modern noir and so compelling.

It's been great to see so many strong female leads turn up over the past decade or so.