It has been a busy week or two.

I’ve written so much about my story ‘Peach’ on this website that it will be no surprise to anyone who keeps up with my news, that it’s my ‘baby’. I’ve also written about it so much that I wouldn’t be surprised if people doubt there’s a story at all!

The good news is that it appears to be getting closer to a time I’ll be able to share news about the release. Other than that it’s been a good couple of weeks as far as progress goes.

Over the last few months the book has been with advance reviewers, beta-readers, as well as editors and fellow authors whose opinion I trust and value.

I received some great editorial advice that was in-depth, full of praise for the story and the characters – feedback which showed me that they’d not only read and enjoyed the story but also understood the messages I was trying to convey. At the heart of the feedback was some advice which I’m sure is chilling for anyone who is writing.

CUTS.

And not just simple cuts. There was a drastic suggestion of essentially trimming the first seventy pages and creating a different start point. Peach is a long one – 200,000 words – and this was a cut of around 30,000 words and obviously required edits elsewhere to get everything in.

I stayed up with the manuscript and over the following days and nights cradled it, explained to it that what I was about to do was out of love, and then tried to explain the same thing to myself. I asked for the feedback of those who read and enjoyed it and they were supportive. The most important thing is that I do trust the editor, and – while I could certainly argue the case for retaining the words – I could not disagree with what she was saying, so, with a heavy heart, I pressed ‘delete’ on a huge portion of the manuscript. Well, I pressed copy and then pasted it into a new document and created a back up of the old one.

And so there is a new version of the story, effectively streamlined, but, with all of the most important plot points and information. It’s scary but that – I think – is going to be the version that goes out to the world.

That was last week, and this week, I’ve been excited to hear more of the soundtrack which is being recorded by the actor Charles Baker. It is coming together superbly and has precisely the right kind of tone to complement the story.

It’s just one of many things I can’t wait to share with you but unfortunately my hands are tied and lips are sealed on what I can and can’t say until such time as I’m permitted!