Wednesday, October 20, 2021

I am reviewing the situation... by Cathy Ace

Cringe – Is there any of your published writing that you’re not particularly proud of any more? Give us an example of something you’ve written that made you cringe. Why does it make you feel that way and what have you learned since you wrote it?

Okay – I’m just going to admit this is a dreadfully difficult question to answer. Why? To be honest I don’t go back and reread my books, unless I have to. I dare say I'm not the only author who'll admit they're heartily sick of a book by the time it’s published; we’ll all have read and reread, edited and re-edited a manuscript so many times before it’s published that there’s no way we want to return to it. Well, I don’t, anyway. But…sometimes I have gone back, because I have to – maybe I want to bring back a character, or revisit a past situation. And there they are – leaping at me from the page – sentences that don’t flow, phrases I now see as anything but well-turned. And I have no idea why they got past me the first twenty times. Nor my editor. Or publisher. Or copy-checker. But they did. And now they’ll always be there. Then...I cringe.

Or will they always be there?

My first short story appeared here! LOVE the '80s vibe

My first foray into a life of crime (writing) was a short story called Dear George. It appeared in an anthology in 1988, another in 1990, on BBC Radio 4 in 2004, in a collection called Murder: Month by Month in 2007, and another collection called Murder Keeps No Calendar in 2018. And I’ve taken the chance to tweak it every single time. It’s still the same story, but the language I’ve used to tell it has shifted over the years. (You can read the current version by using the “Look Inside” feature on amazon here: click here for amazon access

The same story was most recently edited here

Overall, I hope I write differently now than when my first novel was published in 2012. Of course I do my very best every time I write a book, but I also constantly try to improve my storytelling and use of language. How? I read. And read. And I write. And write. Improvement isn’t about wanting to “write like someone else”, it’s about knowing how to put your voice on paper – at least, that’s what I think – and I believe the more a person reads, and writes, the more certain they are about the nature of their voice. So I go on…and on…trying to get better every time.

All my far

When I’ve reread my work I haven’t cringed "very" often (editing should get all the cringes out) but I do wish I’d known/felt “then” what I know/feel “now” about language, pacing, character development, and so forth. But, ultimately, there’s no replacement for experience, and I just hope all my readers are happy to take the journey with me as I learn more, and develop as a writer – which is my ultimate hope.

Meanwhile – by way of going on…and on…please consider reading my eleventh Cait Morgan Mystery, which will be published on 5th November. Is it the “best book I’ve written so far”? Hmm…why don’t you be the judge of that…LOL! Click here to find out more about this book

The new one - coming 5th November!


Welsh Canadian criminal psychologist Cait Morgan, and her retired-cop husband Bud Anderson, are in London, England, to meet their friend John Silver’s freshly minted fiancĂ©e, the daughter of a recently deceased Shakespeare aficionado, and captain of industry. The trip is supposed to be filled with art galleries, good food, and Christmas spirit. However, an untimely death at a posh dinner party threatens to send shock waves through the upper strata of London society.

Cait and Bud’s desire to seek out the truth is blocked by a shadowy figure who’s been tasked with keeping the incident hush-hush, but – as the body-count rises – the investigation develops a dreadful momentum.

This is the eleventh Cait Morgan Mystery, and it finds our usually unstoppable duo running up against the immoveable machinery of power…with tragic consequences.

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