Insider Radio Secrets: Part 2 – Music Choices

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By Scott Overton In spite of the advent of television, then music videos, all-music video channels, satellite radio, iPods, and the internet, old-fashioned free-off-the-airwaves radio broadcasting is still alive and well. Most of us probably spend part of each day with a favourite radio station, especially when we’re in the car, but there are a lot of things we think we know about the radio business that probably aren’t true anymore. As a radio broadcaster for more than thirty years (a morning show host for twenty-five) I put a lot of insider knowledge into the writing of my mystery/thriller novel Dead Air, about a morning man who finds himself marked for death by unknown enemies. One of the beliefs that’s been around forever and still seems to be unshakeable is the idea that … [Read more...]

The Hit List: Mark 3

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By Joshua Essoe When November (National Novel Writing Month) is over, a writer's "first draft done" mind often turns to editing. The is the 3rd in a series of 4 articles focusing on editing by a full-time freelance editor, continuing advice, insight and that editorial perspective. (Read the first article. Read the 2nd article.)   “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” -- George Orwell Hello, I'm Joshua Essoe, and I'll be your demon today. Last week I took down double spaces, "which," "that," and passive voice. This week, a few more topics near and dear to my red pen's heart--if it had a … [Read more...]

The Role of an Editor – Interview with Lucy Cuthew

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Lucy Cuthew, an editor specialising in children’s and young adult fiction, became a freelancer in 2011 having spent several years as a commissioning editor at Meadowside Children’s Books. She edited the English translation of Andrea Atzori’s recently released fantasy YA novel, The Amulet of Sleep. We talked to her about the role of an editor, being a freelancer, and how self published authors can get ahead. Firstly, could you explain the role that a copyeditor has in preparing a manuscript for a book such as Andrea’s? What other types of editor are there and what do they do? When a book goes through the traditional route with a publisher, many eyes will see the text, critique it and work on it to polish it up before it is published. The usual editing stages are a substantive edit, … [Read more...]

Insider Radio Secrets: Part 1 – Human Intervention

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By Scott Overton The aspiring writer is always told, “write what you know.” Good advice because the research is already in your head, and because, along with a good story, readers enjoy gaining some insight into occupations and lifestyles different from their own. So when I wrote my first novel, the mystery/thriller Dead Air that’s what I did. I’ve been a radio broadcaster for more than thirty years, 26 of those years as a morning show host (like the protagonist of my novel). I had so much insider information I wanted to pass on to readers that the first draft was gargantuan—I eventually trimmed it by about 60% to get something readable. There’s still a lot of insider stuff in it—I’m sometimes a bit surprised that my radio bosses didn’t give me any trouble about that when it was … [Read more...]

The Hit List: Mark 2

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By Joshua Essoe Now that November (National Novel Writing Month) is over, a writer's "first draft done" mind often turns to editing. The is the 2nd in a series of 4 articles focusing on editing by a full-time freelance editor, continuing advice, insight and that editorial perspective. Read the first one.   Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and goodwill, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper, and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction. That's just some cold-blooded stuff I like to say before dispensing some editing advice. I've spoken about industry standard formatting … [Read more...]

The Hit List: Mark 1

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By Joshua Essoe Now that November (National Novel Writing Month) is over, a writer's "first draft done" mind often turns to editing. The Hit List is a series of 4 articles focusing on editing by a full-time freelance editor, continuing advice, insight and that editorial perspective.   What cursed names do you reserve for your editor? We know you have them. We know you give them to us. And we don't care. We actually kind of like it. When you work with an editor for the first time, you'll start to shed preconceived notions about the shape your story is in. Getting that MS back bleeding and red can be a shock. But, I swear, we only do it in self-defense. I want to help you and your MS avoid some of that unnecessary blood loss. I see a lot of things I wish I didn't. Every … [Read more...]

Ann-Marie MacDonald On Writing Aspects Of Yourself Into Your Novel

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By Jenn Shenouda It’s hard to be a writer and not come across that old cliché “write what you know” at least once in your career. If you are strapped for time or looking for inspiration however, there may just be a bit of gold left to mine in that overused piece of advice. Look at it this way: your life history is already at your fingertips.  You are probably the most fleshed-out character that you’ll ever meet.  And because your research is mostly in your head, All you have to do to access it is to remember—to do a bit of snooping into your own psyche and see what’s there for the taking. Just ask, Ann-Marie MacDonald—author of the widely acclaimed new novel Adult Onset. More than a decade removed since her last novel The Way the Crow Flies, Adult Onset is just as much a … [Read more...]

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