king reviews – ‘salem’s lot



Not the biggest image, but it is the cover of the paperback I’ve been reading:



A vast improvement on Carrie, in my humble opinion. The dates at the end show it took Stephen King more than 30 months between first word and last, and given the huge difference in content and approach and detail, I have to wonder how much of that was spent rewriting. And how different a novel Carrie might have been with the same approach? In On Writing, he claims to have written most of Carrie in two weeks.  But this is about ‘salem’s Lot. 😉

I didn’t really sleep last night, so I’ve spent a chunk of time reading this over the last 7 hours. It is certainly a step toward the writer he has become, expertly merging different characters in different places happening simultaneously. But even here, he occasionally does something I don’t like, but something I know I still do, and that is to almost recap what is about to happen before backtracking and leading us through it. I feel this is kind of like a newspaper article, in that the first paragraph generally tells you the whole story in condensed form, and the subsequent paragraphs flesh out the various parts. At least, that’s how I remember it being discussed way back when I was at uni.

The place is a character in ‘salem’s Lot, and ends up feeling just as important as most of the others. Places have often featured in this way in his novels, with a quality example being IT. It also features a prologue and epilogue, which as contemporary writers we are warned against. I’m still not sure why. It has been argued that some readers skip prologues, and will therefore miss something the writer deemed important, while considering it fluff before the feast. More shame on the reader there, I say. Here, they serve as tasty bookends.

Something I had forgotten from this novel is… how few actual murders-by-vampires we see, and how little of Straker, and especially Barlow. Another surprise was how late in the book young Mark Petrie came to the fore; he’s mentioned earlier as the destination for the Glick boys, but doesn’t really appear until later. But many of the main deaths appear off-stage, as it were, although I won’t go into details here as I don’t want to spoil anything if you are new to it.

It is a scary book, and a definite page-turner, but filled as much (if not more) with character and camaraderie than vampires and neck-spoiling.

Next up – The Shining. Although I’m not sure if it will be the very next book I read (partly because I re-read it just last year, I think), it has been moved to a prominent position, with Jack Torrance already thinking, Officious little…




3words August begins tomorrow

Just saying. 🙂

No doubt I’ll see you here, right?




how brave is an agent?

HOW BRAVE ARE YOU? is the working title of the compelling and eye-opening book I have been editing for the wonderful Nicole Delacroix:

It is a riveting and sexyfun read, being a somewhat voyeuristic ride through the innermost thoughts of all the kind (and kinky) souls who anonymously completed Nicole’s questionnaire. I was intrigued, shocked, amused and (yes, I’ll admit it, a little) titillated by its honesty and good-time-sass. 😮 🙂

So yes, the final run-through is now complete, and I want to thank Nicole for letting me play a part in her crazywonderful ride, and wish her & HBAY all the very best in finding an agent/publisher.

The question now is: HOW BRAVE IS AN AGENT?

If you think you know of one who might just be brave and insightful enough to be interested in an unputdownably sexy read, please get in touch. 🙂



a good day

Back to the editing ‘grind’… Although it so far hasn’t been, because I’ve loved everything I’ve worked on, so there’s that.

Then I completed the paperback upload/design for 3words Redux, so I hope to announce that tomorrow, assuming all looks good. Current cover:


And then I inserted the BE AWARE warning into TELL ME SOMETHING TRUE:

be aware image

Without the bubble. So, I hope that helps. Thanks, all, for your thoughts on the same.

Oh, and yesterday I was directed towards a FABULOUS new (to me, anyway) writer, who I will be reviewing tomorrow, when I finish reading her second book. I am in awe of her writing, and emailed her regarding a couple of things, and am equally in awe of her response. She seems to be the kind of young woman I would have loved to have been twenty years ago. Well, if I’d been a woman, of course. But her style, her phrasing… well, more tomorrow. 🙂

3words Redux kindle available

Yes, that’s right – I managed to NOT focus on my EconomyEdits job for the weekend, the first two consecutive days I’ve not client-edited since I began.

Thanks for the ok, Nicole. 😉

On top of that, I actively worked on ME things. First, I tarted up all the 3words shorts that I wanted to include in the collection. Then I created an eBook. And then I began working on the paperback version (give it a couple of days – tomorrow’s busy, and I’m back on the job again :)).

Oh, and I finished reading my novel TELL ME SOMETHING TRUE. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but… Man, I enjoyed reading that. I do think the intentional typos could be an issue, though, so will be stop-gapping that tomorrow or Tuesday by adding a “WARNING: TYPOS AHEAD!” type page at the start. And then see from there.

But today is more about 3words Redux now being available on Amazon as an eBook, and can be found here:

I do like that cover. 🙂

And don’t forget – 3words August will be upon is in just a few days… so please seriously think about committing just 10 minutes a day to an ongoing story. You never know – you may love it! Obviously, I think you will. 🙂



more work in my inbox – Blood & Oil by M.A. Leibfritz

I am delighted and honoured to announce that M.A. Leibfritz has chosen me to edit her sci-fi/fantasy novel BLOOD & OIL.

Due to current commitments, work won’t begin before August 15th, but after reading and sample-editing the opening pages, I must say the story pulled me in and intrigued me, and I am seriously looking forward to working on this project.

Many thanks to Tamsin over at for the recommendation.



a question for readers and writers

My novel TELL ME SOMETHING TRUE is about life and writing, and how each affects or directs the other. It features an amateur / wannabe writer as its main character, and even less able amateur / wannabe writers as its lesser main characters (with non-writers also present in large numbers, so don’t worry 😉 ).

However, because they are amateur writers, I actively chose to leave in & insert some typos and tense & punctuation errors, as they wouldn’t be perfect as writers or editors of their fiction, and I thought these errors played an important part in the story. Don’t get me wrong, there aren’t thousands, despite it being a 700 page book, but they are randomly scattered.

And yet, while I’m re-reading it in paperback form, I’m now left wondering if –until this idea becomes obvious that it’s intentional, and the proliferation of wannabe writers is understood– readers will simply think the book isn’t fully edited. And, as a paid editor, I really wouldn’t want that. 😮 🙂

So, my question to you is this: which of these options below do you think I should do, and why?

  • (a) Leave everything as is – if the reader doesn’t “get it” or walks away early so be it
  • (b) Leave everything as is, but add an ‘idiot guide’ type feature at the start to ‘warn’
  • (c) Correct all typos for the MAIN character, but leave others to “highlight difference”
  • (d) Correct all typos etc for the MAIN character as per (c), but ADD the ‘idiot guide’
  • (e) Correct ALL typos as it will otherwise alienate readers as amateurish or pretentious

I think I want to stand true (for the moment, at least) with (a), but if enough voters suggest otherwise I will seriously consider editing.

Plus, the more I think about it, the more I think I (and a potential reader) might benefit from a line added one the dedication page, along the lines of: “There are some intentional typos in this novel. The reason for this will become clear as you read.” ?

Thank you for your time.



CreateSpace & Kindle covers – an idea

A quick word about creating covers for Kindle and paperback via Amazon and CreateSpace.

Yes, both can be strugglesome and limiting. As I’m sure you’ve found.

But something I’ve found that is possible with covers at both is… you can design your own front (and back, with CreateSpace) cover elsewhere via another platform and then upload the whole thing as a single file. This will then cover ALL of the front (and back at CreateSpace) if you opt for the relevant template. Of course, the file needs to be BIG to avoid blurring, and the DPI for the image preferably mahoosive.

Another thing I found is that you can play around with the Author & Title text boxes. I liked one design for my collection Swimming In Clouds, but didn’t like where the Author & Title boxes were PLACED, so, I simply switched them around, and effectively had my author name as my book title and my book title as my name.

For example, in the image below:

swimming cover 0107


This was created using a Kindle template. However, DAVID BURTON is in the book title box, SWIMMING IN CLOUDS is in the subtitle box, and TEN TALES OF FAILURE AND HOPE is in the author name box. All I did was type over the text in each box as above, then clicked preview and saved that file. Of course, when I backed out the initial page now showed that TEN TALES OF FAILURE AND HOPE was the author of “DAVID BURTON – SWIMMING IN CLOUDS”. All you need do is retype the correct information in the correct boxes, so everything will now list as it should via Amazon. Of course, when you re-open the preview you’ll find everything is rejigged as I just said above, with DAVID BURTON now where SWIMMING IN CLOUDS is in my photo, etc. But all you need do is upload the image and make sure it covers the whole cover and then hit preview and ultimately save, leaving your details where you would prefer them on the cover, but still assigned correctly for Amazon purposes in the file information.

Below is another example, and one I am currently considering for my WONKY MONKY series. The image of the monkey and the noticeboard is an image at i-Stock that I am close to buying.

monkey sample


All I did with this was open it with Paint, then stretch it, and then simply create some text boxes and filled in the relevant information, leaving me with this:

wonky sample 0107

And then I uploaded it to a CreateSpace template, adding the blurb on the back, so we have this:

wonky BookCoverPreview

I simply need to convince myself that this looks good enough to justify the expense for the image. 😉

Any thoughts?



Wonky Monky reviews


Fun and delightful story! 13 July 2014

I enjoyed this thoughtful tale. The characters and the story were well written.After reading Wonky Monkey I bought wonky Monkey too and just finished it. Very delightful and fun read.


Delightful story for young and old. 13 July 2014

Just finished reading this delightful story. I enjoyed the characters and the story was well written, Waiting now for Wonky Monky 3. Keep up the good work David, I believe these stories have a place in our world to help children to cope with life. I will read it to my Grandsons ages 11 and 7.



I do love my Wonky Monky stories, so these are an absolute delight to receive. 🙂

Thank you so much.

Oh, and I do have a Wonky Monky 3 storyline in mind… I just haven’t been able to begin it because I’ve been more focused on editing others of late. But it WILL be started sooner rather than later. 🙂

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