How it all began:
Hexult, the back-story:
It wasn’t an obvious marriage. A lady with a passion for English and a career that spanned English teaching and professional editing, with a man who could only bring imagination, resourcefulness and monosyllabic words to the party.
The original idea was for Perry to write the concept to allow Sandy to write the book. After reading the original synopsis however, Sandy was impressed with plot and the conceptual details and encouraged Perry to have a stab at writing, realizing he had firm ideas in his minds eye. Spurred on with encouragement, Perry wrote a few initial chapters that were well received by Sandy and after some general editing were of an acceptable standard.
Having received an affirmation of his writing ability, Perry proceeded to write the book he had always imagined, but his love was of the story, not the language , and worse not all the story, but the parts of the story that fascinated him; the science, the engineering, the overcoming obstacles, not with some outlandish contrivance, but with simple logic. He knew the characters, how they would react to a situation, but did not bother the reader with these insightful details.
The sections of manuscript that now hit Sandy's desk did not just need editing, they needed rebuilding. Like an old classic car, Sandy, striped them down, polished up the serviceable bits and made anew all the parts that were missing. And that was the easy bit. Perry’s idea’s were sound, but his passions, his engineering and building descriptions blossomed like fungus on the leather seats, minute descriptions on the construction of a nocturnal, a navigational device that was not even essential to the plot. Sandy tactfully managed and reduced these, but by the end, the (first) final draught of the book Sandy’s work had only just begun.
The reviews came in, from friends, children, schools and the few agents who could be bothered. The book was good, had possibilities, but lacked pace and tension, the pace brought down by all those technical descriptions. Sandy took the gloves off and reworked the story, making the plot the driver, cutting out any technical descriptions that did not support the plot and move the story on. Perry, after much chest beating, eventually approved the modifications and worked with Sandy to polish a now irresistible story.
Perry assures us that in the sequel he has incorporated all he has learnt and there will be less work for Sandy. Sandy, not yet having seen the script, feels she is unable to comment. -We shall see.