Writers Events This Weekend, DABWAHA, and I Want to be Anthony Horowitz's Copy Editor

Friday! There's lots going on this weekend.

First we've got what would have been Douglas Adams' 60th birthday on Sunday. Neil Gaiman says (and you have to do what he says): "To celebrate this event, Douglas' family and friends, in association with 'Save The Rhino' (one of Douglas' favourite charities) are holding a very special birthday celebration in his honour at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. An evening's entertainment from some of the finest names in the world of science, comedy, entertainment and music, with a very special premiere performance of Douglas' material, this is one event that is definitely not to be missed."

That's if you're in London. If you're in Montreal, we have the annual Antiquarian Book Fair! I always go, just to drool over ancient books I'd love to own. Especially if there happen to be volumes of Tolkien.

And if you're in Regensburg, Germany, you might try to sneak a peek at one of the 500 new fairytales discovered there. The stories were "locked away in an archive" for over 150 years and are "part of a collection of myths, legends and fairytales, gathered by the local historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth (1810–1886) in the Bavarian region of Oberpfalz at about the same time as the Grimm brothers were collecting the fairytales that have since charmed adults and children around the world."

Also in The Guardian, Anthony Horowitz, author of - among other books - the Alex Rider series, and the only new Sherlock Holmes story authorised by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's estate (on my wishlist!), recently had an article entitled Do We Need Publishers Any More?

I thought this comment was rather telling: "I asked my own publisher, Jane Winterbotham, why I needed her and she came straight back with the reply. She said she'd call me next Tuesday. When she did finally ring me, she suggested that without her, I would miss 'all the peripherals'. These were: the promotion, the marketing, the editing and the advance. Well, let's forget the marketing and the advance for a minute, because the funny thing is that when I actually needed them, at the start of my career, that was when they were in short supply."

(Interlude: Three authors I love are nominated in the DABWAHA
(Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors)
this year: Joanna Bourne, Darlene Marshall, and the self-published awesome Kait Nolan. Go vote!)

When it comes to editing, Horowitz says: "I'm sure there are some very good self-published books out there and this may well be one of them – anyway, who am I to say? - but my feeling is that in some indefinable way, having a publisher raises the bar."

I think I tend to agree with him. At least for the moment, when I'm still querying and attempting to publish the traditional way. Ask me again in ten years!

At the same time, I definitely also agree with his idea that "it may be that traditional publishers have less to fear from the digital revolution than they think. Perhaps they should embrace it. I'd love, for example, to write a murder mystery where you could actually tap on a bit of dialogue you mistrusted and discover that the character was telling a lie. Where the reader actually had to become a detective and where the last chapter, the reveal, had to be earned. Or how about a book with different points of view, where you could choose which of the characters became the narrator? I believe someone is experimenting with added music and sound effects as part of the book. For me, the digital revolution offers fantastic opportunities – if you grab hold of them."

At one point, Horowitz adds: "Relations between us have been strained ever since they published my Sherlock Holmes novel, The Mouse of Slick, with no fewer than 35 proof-reading errors. Their proof-reader tried to kill herself. She shot herself with a gnu. Even so, we're doing another book together … a story of murder, suspicion and revenge." (That's actually The House of Silk, by the way)

So there you have it, part two in the series. I want to be Anthony Horowitz's copy editor! Just as I want to be Neil Gaiman's copy editor.

Which author would you like to interact with?

My entry for Rach's campaign challenge is here: please critique or like or both! I'm still visiting everyone's entries, they make for such fun reading.

Comments

Angela Brown said…
I particularly love the mention of embracing the technological revolution, especially for the traditional publishers, and making things so much more intriguing when it came/comes to e-books. His mystery idea is ridiculously wonderful and could probably convert me to that genre if I could do those kinds of things.
Angela Brown said…
I particularly love the mention of embracing the technological revolution, especially for the traditional publishers, and making things so much more intriguing when it came/comes to e-books. His mystery idea is ridiculously wonderful and could probably convert me to that genre if I could do those kinds of things.
Deniz Bevan said…
I liked it too, Angela - there are so many different things one can try with e-publishing, you'd think the traditional publishers would be exploring all these ideas!
Cherie Reich said…
Hehe! I think it would be fun to be Anthony Horowitz's copy editor. Then again, I love the Alex Ryder series and have THE HOUSE OF SILK on my bookshelf to read.
Vicki Tremper said…
She tried to kill herself with a gnu? I actually covered my mouth in mixed horror and mirth. All those cool experimental digital possibilities. That would be worth paying for!
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks for coming by Cherie and Vicki!

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