Gamekeeper Turns Poacher


I’m always glad to hear of an editor becoming a writer. ‘Now they’ll find out,’ I mutter to myself, ‘that it’s not that easy.’ I actually know of someone who does both: writing his own stuff and critiqueing other people’s. This sounds to me like a recipe for schizophrenia.

A few years ago an esteemed former editor of mine quit the world of publishing to write his first book and I seem to recall a high-pitched whimper of pain when I asked him how it was going. But publishing is no longer a gentle, civilised world. The suits and the bean-counters reign supreme and in all likelihood they’re coming after your treasured mid-list with a scythe. So I can understand why people leave it all behind for the freedom of being self-employed. Or as we in the business now joke, the self-unemployed.

Jon Appleton is a recent defector after 20 years of big house publishing. He’s about to publish his first novel Ready to Love and he very kindly invited me to drop in on his blog How to Write a Novel¬†

Always a pleasure to talk about myself for five minutes…

I wish Jon the very best of luck in his new career. If nothing else, poachers have more fun than gamekeepers. With the exception of Mellors, of course.



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