Sep 07

Best Foot Forward: Jane Cable’s blog about what happens once that digital publishing deal is in the bag continues

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Jane Cable, publishing, writing

Jane Cable’s blog about what happens once that digital publishing deal is in the bag continues.


Editing involves a great deal of sitting down. Far more than my slightly dodgy back can manage at the moment anyway. So after being glued to my office chair for a few hours I balanced my laptop on a box file on the ironing board and tried that (standing at your desk being all the rage). It helped, but not a great deal as I found it slightly awkward to type.

What does work is going for a walk in the middle of the day and I am hugely blessed to live in a small village tucked under the South Downs so peace and quiet and country air are only ever a few steps outside my front door. And while tramping around the lanes is freeing up my back muscles it does exactly the same for my mind.

Agent Felicity has cleverly crafted my elevator pitch as a writer as “love with a ghostly element in a beautiful setting” and I’ll go with that. Completely. And beautiful settings inevitably require walking.

publishing, what happens when you get a publishing deal

The Seahorse Summer is set in Studland Bay in Dorset and opens on the sixtieth anniversary of a rehearsal for D-Day which went horribly wrong. I visited the village exactly ten years later and on my walk up to the cliffs made special note of the wonderful countryside around me; the daffodils dying back on the banks, slowly being replaced by primroses; the tractor rumbling across the fields; tiny birds swarming the hawthorn hedges; enticing glimpses of the sea below. Minute observation helps me to create a credible world for my characters to inhabit.

Every day, as I walk, I do the same thing. It’s a great discipline for a writer. I always say that to write good dialogue you need to remember you have two ears and one mouth. To write great descriptions you need all five senses.

Yesterday the earliest touches of autumn were making themselves felt. Cow parsley dying back to reveal blackberries – some fruits ripe and squashy between my fingers, others in tight green fists. The tiniest hint of chill on the breeze which carried the pheasants’ calls and the wood smoke from a distant bonfire across the valley. The strict definition of meteorological autumn starting on 1st September becoming a reality before my eyes.

Time is, indeed, marching on. But I have finished the character edits for all but Marie and next I need to review each paragraph, making sure it is essential to the story. The book has changed so much since its first iteration I need to remove the distracting loose ends – and in the process make sure that every scene is adding something for the reader.

Jane Cable is the author of two independently published romantic suspense novels, The Cheesemaker’s House and The Faerie Tree, and a sporadic contributor to Frost. The Seahorse Summer tells the tale of how two American soldiers born sixty years apart help forty-something Marie Johnson to rebuild her shattered confidence and find new love. Discover more at www.janecable.com.