Not so long ago I finished writing Deadly Departed, the fifth book in the Spectral Detective series (sixth if you include the mini-story prequel). Reaching that point in the Jake Fletcher story made me wonder, how did the first book in the series hold up? After all, it was the first full-length urban fantasy story I wrote and was produced at some speed. Would I look back on it in triumph or horror?
Short answer: a bit of both.
First of all, the plus points. It whipped along. It was never boring. There was no fat on it.
Now the downsides. Some of the jokes fell flat on their arse. There were gaping plot holes. It was so, SO short.
The trend in 2017 was to write punchy, episodic stories, but this one came out less of a novel than a novella (fell-length, my arse!). What’s more, it wasn’t as good as it could be. Not by a margin.
How many potential readers was I losing because of that? How many people were turning down the chance to read the second book in the series because this one was only so-so? Was I happy letting this substandard effort be the entry point into Jake’s world?
Turns out, no.
So I crept into my parent’s attic and corrected my homework. I turned a 35k-word novella into a 70k-word novel. Plot points were changed, character relationships developed, dialogue tweaked, and whole new chapters added.
I just finished the first draft of the rewrite and I’m very happy with it. I hope you will be too, new readers and old. Watch this space for updates!