My Editor is an Alien


Having reached the end of Jan Ruth’s latest masterpiece Silent Water, where once again Ruth weaves like a witch on acid and permeates her wordage with the true human qualities we all like to squirm away from and deny, she sent me this lovely testimonial



2015 wasn’t a great year for me and I left my publisher with a completed, unedited, unpublished manuscript – a sequel to Midnight Sky titled Palomino Sky, plus a half-finished project – part three of the Wild Water series, Silent Water. Not a great situation to be in. However, I was relieved to be an independent again and massively relieved to be back with Johnny.


John Hudspith is the only person who’s read and edited every single word I’ve ever written and published – currently seven novels, three sets of short stories and numerous blog posts. Lots of editorial testimonials concentrate solely on technical skill and I’ve talked about this before but I’d like to say something about the emotional connection too.


I’ve worked with several different professionals in the dark and distant past, and I can honestly say that John is the only wordsmith who truly understands every single one of the characters I’ve created, their motivations, their hopes and dreams and what I’m trying to say through them. He also manages to keep a firm hold on the tone, style, and expectations of readership for the genre I’m writing for. And I don’t write in small chunks, I write the entire novel and send some 90,000 words into his inbox with no synopsis, no blurb or explanation. To process all of this information, which is essentially the product of someone’s else’s imagination, and to hone every speck of characterization, and to hold that tone, that mood in every scene, is a pretty special skill.


I’ve heard all sorts of horror stories lately with fellow authors trying to find good, trustworthy editors. I always recommend John Hudspith, his is certainly a unique skillset, but perhaps I should do the correct writerly thing now by showing and not telling, and finish with a medley of his random comments from the margins of my manuscripts.

Cut this – it’s interfering with reader’s imagery, which currently has Maggie with a cup in one hand and a custard cream in the other.

Wow wow wow – very clever!

Cut this unrealistic fluff – she KNOWS what’s wrong.

What the hell have you done? I’ve heard about sticking your characters up trees and chucking rocks at them but you’ve used boulders and fucking battering rams. This, Ms Ruth, is just excellent!

What’s this? I’ve read it three times now and it still doesnt make sense.

Is there no end to this woman’s evilness?!

Pace is absolutely bang-on… reader will be gasping!


I think he’s the people’s editor – a down-to-earth alien who lives in the margins of my manuscripts with the funniest, cleverest red pen ever.

Oh, and maybe the odd custard cream.

Jan Ruth. 2016


Thank you, Jan.

Jan Ruth on Amazon Jan Ruth


%d bloggers like this: