Over the past year I've been engaged by some of our most successful indie writers. It's been a year of great variety and I've learnt a lot from working closely with each of my clients. The contrast in styles and working relationships has been enriching, but in every case, the authors have proven extremely hard-working and very professional.
David Dalglish keeps going from success to success. This is largely due to his work ethic, but also due to his natural story-telling ability. David is an author who knows how to connect with his readers: he understands relationships, conflict, and the use of emotion. Readers have little trouble engaging with David's characters as there is so much for them to identify with. Coupled with that, David is always working on his technical skills as a writer. He's clearly an avid reader who reads with a critical eye. Every book he produces is technically stronger, to the point that he's become a major force in fantasy. The good thing for me is that the editing process gets easier each time, and the stories are always a joy.
M.R. Mathias has been an absolute gentleman. He's one of the hardest working writers I've had the good fortune to work with. He's also prolific. Like David, M.R. is a natural story-teller. He's very well read and has a gift for situation-specific vocabulary. He's another writer who understands the importance of character relationships and reader identification. There's always something fresh about M.R.'s rendering of classic fantasy, and his foray into horror (The Butcher's Boy) was utterly compelling.
I've also had the good fortune to branch out into chick-lit with the thoroughly entertaining works of Sibel Hodge. Sibel is the consummate professional and a pleasure to work with.
Valmore Daniels is another writer who's come on in leaps and bounds over the past year. I was impressed by the scope of his Forbidden the Stars, and even more so by the characterisation in the excellent Angel Fire.
Another hard-working author, and a great talent, is Moses Siregar III. Moses is a bit like me in some respects: he's been working on The Black God's War for an eternity, but this book just keeps getting better. When the full version is finally released in the next few weeks it is sure to make some waves. Moses is not only a very knowledgable writer, and generous with what he knows, but he's also more willing to learn from others than almost anyone else I know. The results of such an approach speak for themselves in his forthcoming novel.
I'm currently working with Rex Jameson on a novel called Lucifer's Odyssey. Rex shows the same dedication to his writing as Moses and is sure to make a name for himself.
Finally, I should mention Felix Savage, whose The Incurables, which I was privileged to work on recently, is absolutely staggering in its scope and attention to detail. This is a monolithic work, which was damned near publishable when I first set eyes on it, but Felix is another very diligent author who is prepared to go that extra mile to produce the best quality work possible. I'll be very interested to see how this book is received. I, for one, was extremely impressed.
I'd like to say a big thanks to all my regular clients, and to everyone who's commissioned me or queried me. It's been a great year for editing, and I like to think it's helped me improve as an author too.