Louise writes: Back in the early Noughties before I started publishing crime thrillers with Mark, I had four contemporary women’s fiction novels published by Transworld/Black Swan (chicklit, I suppose, although that has fluffy connotations, and I don’t consider them at all fluffy). I’ve always been really fond of all of these books, although they had dated quite badly. So I set myself the task of updating them and getting them re-published with brand new titles and material.
I thought it would take a few weeks – three or four, if I set my mind to it? It has taken MONTHS. I suppose it was overly optimistic of me to assume that it wouldn’t take long, considering that I was updating four books containing approximately half a million words in total. Novels written between ten and fifteen years ago need a surprising amount of updating. All the cultural references for a start. It’s amazing how much the mere mention of B*Witched or dial-up internet can date a novel, even when the references are only a decade old. Sobering, how fast the world has changed. Obviously I had to remove all instances of people smoking in restaurants, smoking in offices, smoking in pubs… but it wasn’t just that. Characters would say things like ‘I received a text message on my mobile telephone.’ I mean – LOL! And there was no social media whatsoever. All tiny little things but cumulatively, across four books, it took a lot of thinking to get right.
The trickiest one to update was To Be Someone, my first novel, because it comes with its own soundtrack (now available on Spotify: http://spoti.fi/1ftAwaA) and many of the original tracks I chose to write about were specific to a particular year – and now I’m adding fifteen years to that, so the songs were no longer relevant. I kept a lot of them, but it was great fun to research appropriate new ones for the transposed action. I added a couple of songs that I had regretted missing out first time round, such as Ben Folds Five’s ‘Underground’ and used it as an opportunity to get rid of the ones I wasn’t quite so keen on. I have also, in a shameless attempt to reach a new young market, included the brand new single by Years & Years, ‘Shine’. Whether it works as a ploy or not remains to be seen!
Finally, new covers. I’ve lived with the old ones for so many years that it was hard to visualize them as anything else. The redesign process has been slow and pretty expensive, with a couple of false starts – but thanks to Stuart Bache swooping in to save the day, we have four amazing new covers that I absolutely love. Stylistically, they tie in far better with my joint books with Mark too.
What do you think of them? I’d love to know. And please let me know what you think of the soundtrack, too! What songs would you put on the soundtrack of your life?
NB: As I write, Lifesaver is currently on sale in the Kindle store for a mere 99p, just for a couple of weeks: Amazon