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I was approached by an editor who wanted me to write one chapter of a “crowd sourced” novel, or to put it another way, a book with seventy different authors. I refused, politely but firmly, as follows.

Sorry, but I’m too busy writing the next book in a series. You must take a break sometimes, to let ideas gel. Yes, that’s when I sort real life. This would fascinate you. Readers are waiting to find out what happens next.

And so it went on for a week, until curiosity overcame me and I clicked on the link to the plot, supplied of course, and sitting in an email teasing me.

It’s good, very good. If I lived in America I would be happy to write the story myself, but I’m busy. Take a look at the characters. I’d like you to write about X, whom the reader suspects is having an affair, but isn’t sure, yet. It’s only a sub-plot. You can have a free hand, and I only want a thousand words.

Somebody else would be landed with building on my creation of X’s mistress? A thousand words, with detailed instructions, shouldn’t take long and, as it happens, I’ve spent time in the State he’s using as the setting.

I’m not writing in American English; “translating” takes forever. I’ll do that. I’ll have to edit a lot to keep the style flowing, and three thousand words wouldn’t be too much. I haven’t got time to write three thousand words.

On the other hand, Rebecca slices what she calls waffle out of all my work and this chap could do it instead. It beats having to watch the word count.

I’ll buy your book… my assistant will buy your book, and review it, honestly of course.

Nobody reviews a book dishonestly, do they? Anyway I had nothing to worry about. The editor only approached me in the first place because he’d read a sample  of Dangerous Liaisons and liked it.

Did I say this editor is a fisherman in his spare time? I didn’t, because I wasn’t aware he was until he had me on the hook.

I’d like a scene expanding, but the end is masterly.

Flattery will get him anywhere. He’s currently mulling over Draft Two of what I call The Chapter. And he’s right, it is fascinating and maybe one day you’ll find it advertised right here.

Dear Readers, or those of you thinking of becoming readers, don’t worry about delays in the publication of Illicit Passion. I’ve given up sleeping.

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  1. Zara-Jo Palmer

    I'm waiting for Passion :-) And The Heart Doctor sounds interesting.

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