As I write, it's just two days until S J Norbury's debut novel Mrs Narwhal's Diary is published, on Sunday 16 May. This is the day the diary begins, so we thought it would be a nice day to publish the book. My twelfth at LWB!
We thought it would also be nice to write a blog post about how I came to publish S J's novel...
In January 2019, Jericho Writers sent a project to me and asked me to provide an in-depth editorial report. I'd been working with Jericho Writers for a couple of years at that point, and most of the projects I'd worked on were very much beginners' work, needing lots of input, and usually full of rookie errors. Interesting work, and work I needed (and still need) to pay my wages and finance my publishing; but, at times, quite repetitive... the same mistakes do seem to crop up over and over again ;-)
In February 2019 I started work on the project named Mrs Narwhal's Diary and just a few sentences in I realised I was reading something extraordinary. The characters lifted off the page from the start; it was funny, warm, engaging, charming. This is how I introduced S J's report:
"Thank you for the chance to read and work on your novel Mrs Narwhal’s Diary. I have to say, it is rare to get the chance to work on such a professional and accomplished manuscript. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your novel. Funny, fresh, invigorating, surprisingly moving in places. Pithy, shrewd observations throughout only add to the novel’s great charm. Your fabulous cast of characters, and great characterisation (generally, with a few slips, which I will talk about later) are fascinating to follow. I was rooting for all of them at one point or another. There were many genuine laugh-out-loud moments, and my family gave me many odd looks, and there were several “What’s up with Mum?” type comments all over the weekend as I read and laughed my way through your novel."