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Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This is a little in-between books offering for you - and a distraction for me from editing the novel I'm working on. I need a break.

I’ve been making my living as a writer for over 25 years and I still have to knock myself out on the editing. I’m doing the pre-typesetting edit of my new novel (number six) at the moment, and I feel like my brain is dripping out of my ears. The level of concentration required is almost physically painful.

I’m very lucky to have a wonderful editor to work with. She can remember that I have used phrases like ‘I burst into uncontrollable giggles’, ‘we were all absolutely hysterical’ and ‘his eyes twinkled as he slowly undid his belt’ before, with 300 pages between them.

So take a bow, Ms Jocelyn Hungerford. You're my pal.

All writers need editors. I once spent a day with one of my all-time literary heroes, Peter Carey (I got to take him to Australian Fashion Week, it was a total blast) and in between fashion shows, I sat at his feet and asked a few questions about writing.

I was editing my first novel for publication at the time and finding it very hard, so I asked him if he still worked with an editor – I thought someone on his level might be above it.

I remember his reply so clearly: ‘Every. Single. Word.’

He’s won the Booker Prize twice, remember. Twice. So every time I think I can't stand it another minute going over page 615 for the nine hundredth time, I think about him saying that and get back down to it.

Or I take a little time out to look at this blog, which I was put onto by my lovely friend Derek Brown (find him on Twitter @dbrown_esq, he’s really worth a follow).

Here is the link to Hot Men Reading Books

And above is my Man of the Month. I'd love to know who you like.


  1. That wonderful Pinguette edited my last couple of editions of the Good Food Guide and did a wonderful job of turning an attic of mess into an orderly storage space of 800 listings, coaxing the editors as they flagged, coping when the finish line distanced itself from us and generally just being a great collaborator. Now I'm in recovery & she's once more into the breach. I bow to her.

  2. (Good) editors are beyond awesome! Yasmin B xx