Tag Archives: Feedback

Deleted scenes.

When I first had WHHITC bound, I gave it to a few people to read through so that they could give me some feedback.

After sitting down, and talking it through, with the first two people to finish I made a few changes. Some minor, some major. I amended the preview books that hadn’t gone out yet, and recalled two that had. Only JB, SKG, and The Bear read the book before the changes. They have a; slightly different chapter seven, Ben being a little meaner, an extra scene with Mrs. Palcznski, and an epilogue.

The epilogue was quite a difficult scene to cut. I liked it. I liked what was going on, and I liked what it did. But the consensus was that the end was stronger without it.

Was it the right thing to do? I’m not sure.

Should I put it back…? I don’t know.

I am going to use that scene though in As Yet Untitled.

And if you’d like to read it for yourself? If you’d like some clue as to where I’m going with As Yet Untitled? Please send me an e-mail at; karentribes@mac.com.


A review.

Unbeknown to me, my good friend Dave borrowed With His Head In The Clouds from his brother Martin. The first I heard of this was a text from Dave on Friday morning;

Morning *Karen*. I read WHHITC, it was a frustrating, enjoyable, funny experience, well done. When’s the next novel due?

I am not a fantastically confident person, and don’t look on the bright side of anything, so one word in that text really stood out which needed investigating;

Frustrating because it was badly written, or because of where it ended? Cheers though Dave, the follow up is slowly being scrawled in crayon as we speak.

It wasn’t so much the writting, just the characters conversations i struggled to follow some of them, and i didn’t really enjot the start of sentances like yeah,no. I found that frustrating but i can see why you did it cos of the dream/reality falling awake thing. On the whole tho the book was ace, it was different to the style of writting i’m used to i guess. Good work 🙂

It was an attempt to show Ben not thinking before speaking, and I also wanted the dialogue to be quite snappy. “I didn’t want to slow it down,” said *Karen*, “by breaking it up.” I also purposly tried to get the reader as lost as Ben. It starts of telling you what day everythings happening, and this gradually disapears throughout the book. What did you make of the end?

I liked  the end, i found the book easier to read the more i got into it, i guess it’s getting used to writing style. I’m sorry if i came across too critical, i really did enjoy it.

Critical I can do something with, I’m pleased with that, it let’s me know how to improve my writing. If he’d have simply text; it was alright, I’d have pestered him far more than I did. So thank you Dave.

Not so much the why, but the who?

I wrote a post on my other blog asking why some of my posts and photographs were more popular than others, and how frustrating it is not being able to find out the reason. But that frustration pales in comparison to that of now knowing just who is it that has bought WHHITC’s. I get sent an e-mail each time one is sold, but that’s it, that’s all it says. It doesn’t say to whom, or where they come from. And, of course, it only escalates from there;

Which of my friends has bought it? And have they actually read it?

What do the readers think of it on the whole? And do they like the end?

Do they want to read more?

Is the Death Ray thing going to help my sales?

What does Mummy Bear make of it?

And will I ever stop asking the unanswerable questions…? I only wish that I could.

Death Ray

Early today I received a really encouraging e-mail from Guy Haley, the editor of Death Ray Magazine.

After I first read it I was unable to concentrate at work properly for a little while, and after reading it again I’m… well, I’m… double chuffed that someone has been kind enough to spend the time to write to me, and not just fire-off an automated response. And not just that, but he appears to have liked what he has read. Anyway, this is Guy’s e-mail in full;

Hello Karen,

I’ve got your mail about your book and whatnot, which I’m going to print in Death Ray 22 (out 12th November), because this kind of e-publishing is quite interesting right now.

And then I read a little bit of the story, and a bit of your blog, so I thought I’d send you an email, because it seems you feel a bit sad, for want of a better word. It’s a hard knock writing a book and then not getting it published, but bear in mind the toughest part of all is actually finishing one. Many folk have some idea or other, and a few of them might put pen to paper, but hardly any ever actually finish the process. That’s a cause for celebration.

The only thing to do is to sit down and write something else, and keep doing it until you write something that a publisher will publish. It’s really rare for a first book to be picked up (I assume this is your first), most people have to slog away at it for years. Having read a few pages of your story I can say that you can, at least, write (some people really can’t).

Many apologies if this appears weird or patronising, I suppose I’m writing to you because your blogposts struck a chord with me. I was trying to write fiction for about 20 years, and suffered many similar setbacks and rejections myself (bear in mind I write for a living anyway) until I managed to sell my first story (for a pittance, too) last year. So don’t give up, and listen carefully to any advice anyone who works in publishing gives you, then follow it, even if it is painful.

(By the way, I’d abandon trying to find a self-publishing house if I were you. Such things cost a lot of money, you rarely make the money back, and volumes published this way are not held in high regard within the industry and surrounding media; something to think about when you’re approaching mainstream publishers in the future. Look up ‘Vanity Press’ on Wikipedia for a reasonable definition of why).

All the best,

Guy Haley

Editor, Death Ray magazine


It has only been available for just under a fortnight, but I’ve already had some feedback about With His Head In The Clouds;

I bumped into my good friend Martin on Friday night and he informed me that he was three quarters of the way through, and completely captivated. His Wife, Jemma, added that “he couldn’t put it down”. Fantastic. This had me on a huge high, which then doubled in size when I saw Martin again the following morning and he told me that he’d finished it.

This is awesome, and still has me grinning like an idiot.


After reading through the feedback I’ve been given I’ve amended, tinkered, and hopefully improved With His Head In The Clouds. I’ve also lost the epilogue and 1,916 words. But it’s now complete, and today I took the next step…

Today I sent it to a publishing house…

Wish me luck.

Positive feedback…

The third reader to finish it got it, and enjoyed it.

They’ve given me their copy back, for me to read through their notes and corrections, and I had a chat to them on Sunday about what they thought:

Too many dot, dot, dot’s.

Takes a little while to get going.

Likes the repetition.

Likes Frank, and his relationship with Ben.

And likes that Lamb knew…

So I just have to finish typing up the corrections, and then I can move onto trying to get it published.