At Angry Robot [HERE] we have always attempted to push boundaries with our fiction, and now we’re doing the same with both the content and delivery methods!
When Kaaron Warren told us she wanted to re-write her next book Walking the Tree as a 20,000 word novella from the point of view of one of the book’s minor characters, we thought she was mad! But we’ve always encouraged creative madness.
My eleven year old son loves reading as much as I do. Often we’ll sit together, immersed in our books. I’ll ask him about his, he’ll ask me about mine, and we’ll share the good bits.
As I was writing Walking the Tree, with its strong adult and child characters, it struck me that it would be a wonderful thing if my son and I could be reading the same book but in appropriate versions. We could discuss the events and the people, but he wouldn’t have to plough through all the ‘boy-girl’ stuff, as my daughter calls the relationship bits in movies.
As I wrote the adult version I kept notes of the important plot points and the moments I thought a child would find interesting. Then I wrote Morace, the child’s point of view version of Walking the Tree.
My son did the first edit on it. What a proud, wonderful moment that was. He’s a critical reader. He says that the Harry Potter books are far too long, with too much description. He finds irritating errors in other books and he talks about how a book should have ended.
He did a very honest edit of Morace. The bits he didn’t understand I made clearer, and he picked up sections where I used too many words or, used one word he didn’t understand.
My idea is that every parent can share the reading of Walking the Tree with their child. Sit there, together, reading the same book.
Our only concern was how to fit an additional 20,000 words into an already-hefty book. The answer was so obvious we wondered why everyone else wasn’t already doing it!
The first two chapters of Morace’s Story are included at the back of Walking the Tree along with a secret DVD-style download link and password that allows you to read the entire novella online or on your eBook reader. And if you buy the eBook edition you get the whole thing as an added extra.
----Comment: Angry Robot cannot become any cooler than this. I seriously doubt that a publisher can outmanoeuvre this succulent super combo, both publisher and author deliver. Simply K.O. I am thrilled, but are you?