The editoiral eye can be a gift to a writer. Having been immersed in the world of ‘A Small Dark Quiet’ for over three years, moving between living alongside the characters and looking through their eyes, I was really looking forward to a fresh perspective. What I always find so extraordinary is how creative the editing process can be – sometimes even more so than the early stages of drafting the novel. It has been truly collaborative in this instance, particularly when my editor’s insights have propelled me to bring an undercurrent to the surface or a minor character out of the shadows. A question in the margin can create just enough friction to spark new life into a scene.
This is a novel where the porous boundaries of time, place and self mean that reality can sometimes give way to a dream like atmosphere – past and present brush up against each other, the internalisation of multiple voices compete for primacy, one character’s perceptions threaten to displace another’s. This has meant that keeping the elements in balance has been quite a challenge, ensuring those crucial tugs towards clarity are there to anchor the reader without crushing the framework. It’s felt a little daunting at times, but I’m really excited about the way the way the novel has evolved. Thank you all for being so patient. Each stage requires an enormous amount of care and rigour, but I promise it will be worth it!
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