Case study: The Breaking of Liam Glass, by Charles Harris
The book: Satirical thriller about the tabloid press, celebrity culture and the residents of a north-London neighbourhood.
How I helped: By showing Charles how he could make his novel funnier and more hard-hitting by adjusting his narrative voice and fleshing out some characterisations.
Charles says: 'Lucy is a great editor who immediately got what I was trying to do with my two novels and focused powerfully on what would make them work in the way that I wanted them to. Her notes and further discussions were extensive, insightful and constructive. Highly recommended.'
Marble City Publishing
Case study: The Miraculous Music of Clara Martinelli, by Peter Howard
The book: Magical-realist fiction that tells the parallel stories of a young concert harpist in London and a mystical monk from the Nepalese Himalayas.
How I helped: By demonstrating to Peter how he could use backstory and world-building techniques to emphasise the connections between his two storylines and so give his novel greater cohesion and impact.
Peter says: 'I was amazed that Lucy knew my characters, plot and themes as well (or better!) than me. Her suggestions on how to hone and develop all three were excellent and insightful, and her patience and willingness to enter into prolonged discussions about the most minor issues was outstanding. She is a true professional and she always goes that extra mile – clearly, she cares deeply about her work. I can’t wait to send her my next manuscript.'
Case study: The Other You, by JS Monroe
The book: Psychological thriller about super-recognisers, doppelgängers, artificial intelligence and how we decide who to trust.
How I helped: By suggesting ways in which the psychological profiles, motives and interactions of some characters could be developed to make the story even more credible and complex.
JS says: 'Lucy has been the line- and copy-editor on three of my psychological thrillers and I wouldn’t want to be edited by anyone else. In fact, my agent specifically asked for Lucy to work on my books as part of my latest contract, so highly is she regarded in the industry. She is particularly good at the internal logic and motivations of characters and even provided me with a fantastic final twist in one of my thrillers. In short, she’s the best in the business.'
Head of Zeus
Case study: The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice, by Katarina West
The book: Whimsical, feelgood body-swap comedy about a put-upon housewife, a self-absorbed actress and the mischievous angel who turns their lives upside down.
How I helped: By encouraging Katarina to delve more deeply into her characters’ backstories and give each of her three protagonists a clearly identifiable journey through the novel.
Katarina says: 'Lucy has not only been a brilliant editor but has also acted as my counsellor, ally, adviser and creative midwife. Had it not been for her incredible support and always helpful comments, I would never have had the energy and courage to imagine this new universe into being.'
I really do understand the phrase ‘I couldn’t have done it without you’ now. My inability to realise this book was a long-held frustration and you have shaped and worked and delicately gilded it until it shines.
Ann Munro, author of The Art of Dying (literary fiction)