'Just Off Elysian Fields' by Woodlief Thomas(USA). Literary. Assess. (July '17)
Professionalism *****. Quality *****. Value *****. Communication *****. Tom, thank you so much for your help. I'll keep you up on how things go from here.
'Dogs of Warr' by Timothy Gabriel(USA). Military Action. Assess. (July '17)
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your straight forward assessment on my manuscript!!! The only reason I haven't gotten back to you was because I understood what you were trying to say and have been busy incorporating a bunch of your suggestions into the next draft. I am taking the lessons learned on this project and trying as best I can to incorporate them into my next undertaking, a smaller, hopefully, and potentially series of books. Thank you again, Sir, and when it's ready I would like to have you do an assessment on the aforementioned next project!
Cheers!!!!! Reedsy review: Tom is a busy man but his product, whatever it is he's doing for you, is well worth the wait. You will get an honest, straight forward opinion or critique of your work. He's also not afraid to tell you what you're doing right. He made suggestions on my assessment that made perfect sense and allowed me to really add some substance to my work where it was lacking.
'The Hero Gene' by Steve Doyle(NSW). YA Adventure Sci-fi. Assess. (June '17)
Thanks for your valuable insights. I would like to call you after the long weekend to discuss some of the issues you raised on structure, the opener and deep third person, a term I was not familiar with and have been researching today.
'Codetta' by Cline Martin(USA). Horror Suspense. Assess. (June '17)
Excellent, I appreciate the breakdown. I'll give this a mulling over as I begin the next pass and I'll let you know as soon as I feel confident with a decision for the next step.
'Whimsy Wonderland' by Aleksandra Zaric(NSW). Fantasy. Assess. (June '17)
Tom, I’ve just read quickly your feedback.Thank you so much. You’ve given me things to think about and will definitely read those titles that you’ve suggested. I’ll be in touch in a few months.
'Mosspark Universe Vol.1' by Neil Mosspark(USA). Speculative Fiction. Proof & Copy Edit. (May '17)
Tom uncapped his red pen and fought his way through the slurry of material that I provided him. I learned so much about how I write from his critique. The man knows his craft. Many thanks are owed to him to beat my manuscript into shape.
'Freemaker Messiah' by Ed Miracle(USA). Dystopian/Sci-fi. Assess. (Apr '17)
I wanted Tom to validate the strengths of my novel and identify problems that only his “fresh eyes” might find. His comments were cogent and helpful, his criticisms polite, thoughtful, and thorough. He's given me confidence that I didn't have before, that most of what I am doing is good, and that I can make this book successful. Thank you, Tom Flood.
'Under Eden' by Mark Furness(NSW). Suspense. Assess/MsDev. (Jan-April'17)
I had pitched the manuscript for my international conspiracy thriller to agents and publishers for too long, getting nibbles but no bites. Something was missing. Maybe it was a stinker. Friends of mine who had used Tom said “send it to the master” – so I did. Tom described it as a “very well written mystery thriller … akin to le Carre”. My chest puffed up. Then came the qualifications, described by Tom with wit, pithiness and encouragement. They boiled down to this: not enough action, not enough focus on the baddies, and the ending stunk of Hollywood cliché. Tom said if I disagreed with him, he’d still work with me. I figured a Miles Franklin winner was worth listening to, so I re-wrote it under Tom’s omniscient eye. The result? I have a contract with the Newman Agency and publisher submissions are underway, with positive early signs. And I’m back seeking Tom’s knowledge, generosity and humour on new projects. Oh, and his prices are good too.
'Dragon Honey' by Mai Field(VIC). Short excerpt, Middle Grade Fantasy. Assess. (Oct '16)
Thanks for the feedback. As we have decided to pursue as a series of books, I'd be keen to engage you to assess the first book to begin with.
'Empowered Princesses - Cinderella Doesn't Want To Marry' by Suvarna Singh(India). Picture Book text. Assess, structural, copy edit, proof. (Aug-Sept '16)
Thanks a lot for your work, Tom. The story has a come a long way. I will get the illustrations done for the book by the end of this month and share them with you to take a look.
'The Professor and the Suicide Girl' by Lucen Geist(EU). Dystopian Fiction. Assess. (May '16)
Thanks for the report. The manuscript is a first draft. I was looking for large structural issues that will have to be addressed with the re-write. The problems with sentence by sentence construction will be dealt with after re-write in the line editing process. Your report is helpful in regard to large structural problems.
'The Ever-expanding Present of Evie Bancroft' by Iris Lavell(WA). Dystopian Fiction. Assess Work in Progress. (May '16)
Thank you so much. Tom. It's just the encouragement I need. I'll continue playing and see where it leads.
'The God Bride' by Julia York (USA). Historical Fantasy. Manuscript Development, Copy Edit, Proof. (Nov '14-Apr '16).
Thanks for this, and for your encouragement. After all that work, I do think it’s a better manuscript. Thanks, too, for being patient and "holding my hand” while I learned to navigate the changes. My skill set is growing, which is always a nice thing. I’ll let you know how everything plays out.
'Alcohol Consumption and the Formation of Play' by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Deidre Anderson(NSW). Sociology Thesis. Structural, Copy Edit.(April '16).
Thanks Tom, I really appreciate your time. I look forward to reading through your suggestions.
'Girl In The Air' by Tyler Pike(NSW). YA Speculative Fiction. Assessment, Copy Edit, Proof. (Mar-Apr '16).
Thanks Tom, that's Fantastic with capital F! Can't wait to see (and publish) the finished product. Thanks for your detailed response!!! Unexpected and full of good info that I have been digesting.
Working Title, Rebecca Langham(NSW). Sci-fi. Ms.Dev. (Apr '16)
The good news for me is that the questions you asked of character conflict and relationships is exactly what I was hoping a reader would be asking. Can you pencil me in for another read in let's say...July? If I know I've booked it in, that will make me ensure I've got enough to send.Thanks again!
'The Feeling of Water' by Tyler Pike(NSW). YA Speculative Fiction Novella. Assessment, Copy Edit, Proof. (Mar '16).
'Monkey Business' by Flavia & Kevin Coleman(NSW). Romantic Suspense. Manuscript Development Jan '12-Dec '14). Assess. (April '11)
Thank you Tom…you make me laugh with your straight forwardness/Thanks ever so much with your appraisal. Much to take on board. Would love if Kev and I could talk to you in person in the next week or two. My biggest question, especially given the glowing report from our screen analyst, is do we have what it takes to make good of the book, or do you recommend a ghost writer to do the job?
'Balls of Brass and Iron' by David Archbold(WA). Historical Adventure. Assess. (Oct '14) Proof & Copy Edit (Mar '15)
Jeez, you must work some crazy hours! Cheers for the report, and the encouraging words. Draft 5's to-do list just doubled in length, which is great. Solid food for thought! A few points have highlighted some things I've overlooked. I'll have to brainstorm some more.
'King Edward The Last' by Graeme Ratcliffe(AU). Historical Fiction. Proof & Copyedit. (Sept '14)
Many thanks for your patience, great advice and more than reasonable charge. I feel myself beginning to love you. Oct '14 Now out on Amazon.
'White With One' by Kelsi Morris-Bulot(NZ). Realist Fiction. Assess. (Aug-Sept '14)
Thanks so much for the report. At 23, I'm just stoked to have finished writing a book. To hear you say it may actually have value is beyond my expectations, and is really encouraging.
Your criticisms are what I value most. Of course I cringed to see words like 'soap' and 'pap', but I needed it, and your suggestions have given me the direction I need for the next draft. I think that culling the soapy sections and spreading that 'grit' to Part Two will be a big focus of this next draft. I don't want the word 'soap' anywhere near my work haha. I think that's all for now.
Thank you so much for your thoughts! I am really excited about this next draft, and will hopefully manage to polish the work into a much better condition.
'Girdle of Bones' by Nik Macdougall(WA). Memoir. Assess. (Aug '14)
Thank you for your thoughtful response to my work. It's gratifying (and surprising) to get such positive feedback, although I guess that's first-time-author nerves speaking.I'm slightly horrifying to find just how MANY times I start a sentence with but - and will be ruthless in editing them out, or at least down.
I'll work through your suggestions this week and see what can be implemented. I think it'll be a challenge to move the prologue to the end but I was ambivalent about it at the beginning anyway, so I'm happy to give it a shot.
'Amplify' by Mark A. Hollands(NSW). Pop Crime. Assess. (May-June '14) Reassess (Nov-Dec '14) Copy Edit (Mar '15)
Thank you for this. I will digest fully. Thank you for your kind words and for the honesty. Bottom line... As I said right at the beginning. .. I want to make this book the best it can be. And I want you with me on that journey. I am really excited by your encouragement. .. more than you could realise./Hey Tom
Thanks for this. I will look at this over the next couple of days and send back on Monday. /Great job on the book, Tom. Thanks and again thanks so much for getting this into shape.
'Bread, Balts and Green Bans' by Dr Inara Strungs(NSW). Popular History. Assess. (April '14) e-assess (Mar' 15)
Thanks, Tom, for the assessment. I agree with your comments. I’ll contact you about ways of making it more interesting after I’ve had a think about it.
'Once Upon A Hero' by Leonie Harrison(AU). Self-help. Assess. (April '14)
Some great feedback. Appreciate your thoroughness. Lots of work for me. I'd already booked a weekend away for that very purpose so looking forward to that.
'Rider' by Sylvia Webber(AU). Middle Grade/YA crossover. 1st Chapter. e-assess. (March '14)
I am most grateful for your notes about my first chapter. They, as well as my thesaurus, will help me improve the quality of my writing throughout the book. I wanted to tell the reader certain things at the beginning, but this can be done after the boy starts his travels. I worked out what you mean by 'voice' and will look into that. Thanks for both your criticisms and encouragement.
'Amandine' by David Archbold(WA). Fantasy/Sci-fi. Assess. (March '14)
Many thanks! I've read through the report a couple of times, there was a lot more detail (and positive feedback) than I was expecting. Most of the negatives I'd already anticipated (length, arc, peasoup, etc), but the fresh, alternative perspective is exactly what I wanted. The thorough nitpicking was an unexpected but welcome bonus, I'll certainly address it all through my next draft.
'When One Clowns Around' by Tim Williams(NSW). Speculative Fiction. Assess. (Feb '14)
First of all I want to thank you for taking the time for reading my manuscript. I know it's still far from perfect but I really appreciate how you critically pulled it to pieces. It was good for me to have a 'third party' give their own un-biased analysis. You are correct about changing the beginning of the novel. I think it would start better with Chapter 3. I will take into careful consideration regarding the main character's age. You had a lot of good points/reasons why I should consider changing/lowering it. I really appreciate how you picked up the Christian-Irony subject. To tell you the truth, that was one of my main (focal points).
Various Short Stories by Bridgett Leslie(NSW). Fiction. Assess/Ms Development (Jan-Mar '14)
I have found the first assessment you did for me very helpful.//Thanks for this Tom. It's tremendously encouraging. I'll certainly look at the notes with care. Plse Could you also advise about mentoring rates from your company.//I can see where you were coming from with what I wrote. It took a while for me to reflect on your points.//Thanks for all the advise. It's tremendously appreciated.
'Jade Is My Stone' by Pat McGowan(NSW). Speculative Fiction. Assess. (Jan '14)
Thanks very much for the appraisal. There's so much to digest. I'll go through it all again slowly in coming days. I can see you've read the ms so closely and I appreciate both your broad comments and also the finer details. If my next tax return looks good, I hope to send you another ms of an earlier novel I wrote.
'Wisdom of the Dog and other Stories' by Ron West(AU). Mainstream SS. Assess (Dec '13)
Thanks Tom. This is helpful, and if not what I want, what I'm looking for - an explanation of why people maintain a polite silence after they've read the stories. I knew there was something wrong. I would like to take you up on your invitation to talk to you about it when I've digested your comments a bit more.
'Ruben' by Alan Brooks(NSW). Comic Fiction. Mentor. (Nov '13)
Thanks, Tom. The positives are very encouraging but the tough love is what I need and want. My goal when I started was to achieve a daily writing ritual (achieved) and improve as a writer (achieved). Now, with your expertise I want to continue to improve.
'Spider Eats Fright' by Helen Roberts(WA). Speculative Fiction. Assess. (Nov '13, Reassess Jan '14, Proof&Copy Edit Feb-Mar '14)
Thank you for your insights. You make some very good points and I see I have a lot of work ahead of me. Luckily, I expected that. What you have done is given me an idea of what to work on next. I'm sure I'll be getting back to you for further advice but first I need to rework my ms. // I just finished reading through it all. Having you go over it has really made a big difference. // Thanks Tom, that question was a real head scratcher. I appreciate the input as I've now got something to work with.
'Good Night Out' by Toni Beaton(WA). Police Procedural. Assess (Nov '13)
Thanks for such a fast review. Also, for such an encouraging one. I have had a bad experience in the past with a review that nearly made me quit. Yours was so positive and really informative. There was good direction on the aspect of intimate third person, for instance. Giving his drug arrest the chance to threaten him, even knowing where he lives and threatening his family will actually set up something that happens in this next book. Value! The rest of it I appreciated just as much.
'Yellow Tag' by Kep LaGrange(NSW). YA Sci-fi novella. Reassess (Feb '14) Assess. (Oct '13)
I've read your report (a number of times), and have a few questions and clarifications. All up, the report is what I was looking for - a blunt and honest appraisal. Thank you. Such feedback seems hard to obtain from people who already know me. I'd like to engage you to review reworked sections of my story, so I can close the circle on my learning. Thanks Tom, I look forward to your answers, and hopefully working more with you.// It is fascinating how much you took out without removing anything necessary. Will try to kill my darlings... After your manuscript assessment, I've named my story "Yellow Tag" (and continued editing, editing, editing). Thanks Tom, for your consideration, and all your help in getting me to this point.
'Pursuit of a Killer' by Kel McClean(QLD). Crime. Copy Edit & Ms Dev (Sept-Oct '13). Assess. (Aug '13)
Thanks for helping me with the book. Probably in a year's time or early 2015, you can help me again. I'm very happy with the ending. The shelf company idea is great and makes the story more interesting. Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it.
'A Slip of Silk' by Emma Harcourt(NSW). Literary/Mainstream. Assess. (Oct '13) Ms Dev (July-Dec '14)
Thank you for your report. Your thoughts and the assessment were very interesting and I agree with much of what you suggest. I'm trying to think through the options of continuing to work on the ms or put it in the bottom drawer and start a new one. If I do go back to the ms I would like to talk to you about a mentorship as I really liked your practical style. Thank you again for your efforts on my behalf./ Thanks for the feedback, its encouraging to hear positive comments./Thanks for the extra research effort.
'The Freeing of Jonathan Mark' by Nathan Gross(EU). Speculative. Proof & Copy Edit/Ms Development (Oct '12-Oct '13)
Thanks heaps for all that! I'm loving it. I'm going to find a path through all this one way or another.
'King of the Rascals'. Literary. Ms Development. (Mar-Nov '14.) 'New Material' by Lucy Alexander(ACT). Literary. Ms Development. (Jun '13-cont)
Thanks for the feedback on the Fire MS. Very useful, if a little overwhelmingly effusive. Thanks. I really wanted to know if you thought it was a novel length thing. The intensity of it might be hard to keep up...//Thank You Tom! This is more than I could have hoped. I will have a serious think through all you've said. I'm going to send you 10,000 word chunks from now. I am so excited to be working with you - you seem to 'get' this so clearly.
'The Cure' by Frank Richards(QLD). Eco Thriller. Assess. (May '13)
July '14 I have finally reworked this novel that you helped me with last year. You suggested a couple of options to improve it. One, clean it up and crank up the humour, or two, go for something more ambitious. I have gone for two. I'm quite happy with end result.// I'd just like to thank you again for your thoughtful advice. I'm continuing to work on 'The Cure'.
'Of A Place Forgot' by Graeme Ratcliffe(NSW). Popular Fiction. Proof & Copy Edit (Sept-Oct '13) Reassess (Aug '13)LoR. Assess. (May '13)
Thank you, Tom, for your invaluable advice. It is a great relief to know I have made progress. I will get cracking on improvements immediately. Please book me in for proofreading.Thank you for your report. It was far more thorough than I expected and your insights regarding publishing possibilities are invaluable.Also thank you for the offer to discuss further. I will get stuck into the rewrite and will contact you again should a question or two pop up during my journey. All seems pretty clear at the moment.Passed 1st and 2nd submission. Scribe. Mar '14
'Murdering Point' by Frank Richards(QLD). Crime. Assess. (April '13)
Thanks for your report about Murdering Point. I plan to work through the manuscript sorting the problems with form, consistency, comma drought and the rest. I'll also crank up the weather. I'm thinking about some of the rewrites you suggest but would like to email or call you with those thoughts at some time, if that's OK? Once again, thank you for your thoughtful advice. It's difficult to get from non-professionals who are often personal friends and easily distracted by attempting to work out who is who in the work.
Accepted by Gaby Naher Agency Nov '13.
'Squee Tales' by Jamie Grant(UK). Chapter Book in progress. E-assess. (Mar '13)
Thanks for the feedback and the pointers. Much to digest. Many thanks.
'Eyes of Madness' by David Cole(NZ). Crime. Assess. (Mar '13) NZ
It's humbling to have someone with your background and talent peer through the words of a manuscript, prodding at the characters, the story, the language, and documenting insightful suggestions for improvements. I didn't expect the assessment to be so comprehensive and detailed. Thanks for the bricks and the bouquets. It's a terrific service you offer to all of us with a story to tell. Pampas Books NZ June 2013. E-book available on Amazon.
'The Scent of Murder' by Felicity Young(WA). Historical Crime. Copy Edit. (Jan '13)
Thank you so much for your kind words about the story. Many editors seem to forget that it's not only first time authors who need encouragement. I like your story enhancement suggestions, especially the depression angle. I also plan to dream up something to illustrate Sir D's pathological fear of the legend and the occult in order to make his leap into the river more believable. Your mention of him flapping about like Ahab on the whale was terrific and really set my cogs in motion.
HarperCollins Feb 2014.
'The Napeans' by Richard Gohl(AU). Science Fiction. Assess. (Oct '12)
Thank you very much for your assessment. All extremely helpful. I'll get started on the redraft and if I have a further question - hope it's OK to shoot it your way. On a more paranoid note: Would you actually tell someone if it wasn't worth persevering? And once again thanks. I really appreciate the detailed analysis, the 'big picture' feedback and the honesty.
'Amy and the Apocalypse' by Paul Armishaw(AU). Horror SS. Reassess (Oct '12) Assess (Sept'12)
Thanks for the feedback. It was along the lines I had anticipated. I will rework it along the lines you've suggested and have it reviewed.
'Wildflower' (Book 1 of trilogy) by Abigail Jones(NSW/TAS). YA Fantasy. Assess. (Oct '12) Mentor (Oct '12 -)
Thanks a lot. This is really helpful. Hopefully I should have...most of it done, within the week? Thanks for all the advice. Is it okay if I go over it and make some changes? I have had the same advice on Robyn being wimpy from my friends who have read it, and I agree completely about that. Maybe I could go through it this week and then send you an updated version?
'Sea Dog Hotel' by Marlish Glorie(WA). Literary. Assess. (Aug-Sept '12)
Oh Tom, you're a honey for giving me such a positive assessment. I can admit it now - that although I was waiting to get the assessment ?.tick tick tick?.a big part of me was kidnapped by sheer dread. Thinking you'd hate it and tear it to shreds and tell me to reconfigure it into another kind of book. Mercifully you were kind, and your comments have given me the encouragement I need to finish this book and try and get it published. For that I'm eternally grateful. Thanks a million, and I'll definitely be in touch.
'A Culture of Peace' by Gary Green(AU). Spiritual/Crime Fiction. Assess. (Aug '12)
Thanks very much for your assessment. You are quite right in your comments and I truly value your observations. I'll get back onto it and apply the changes you have suggested.
'Driftwood' by Dr Kavita Nandan(ACT). Literary. Assess. (July '12)
Thanks,Tom! I'm so grateful for your feedback. It's honest and real and I feel that you have understood what I was trying to achieve here - it is a quiet novel. You are a very careful reader. I wonder if others will put it together in their heads as you do. I am so relieved to have received your assessment and there are a number of points that you have made that I believe I can work on to make Driftwood a better novel. Passed USP Press 1st submission Aug '12.
'Angel's Harp by Philip Newey(AU). Mainstream. Reassess (Apr '13) Assess. (Jun '12)
I'll have to think about what to change and how (if anything). I have very little confidence that any publisher will pick it up anyway, in today's market. Thank Trevor for his comments. First of all, I'm glad he liked the manuscript (I am hoping that this is not just something said to keep the customers happy). His comments are very useful. For the most part I think his criticisms are valid and insightful. I will try to take his suggestions on board, even when I don't entirely agree. With the right to decide that I am correct and he is wrong, on occasions! Mostly I can see what he is getting at, though.
'An Unknown Woman' by Mary Edquist(VIC). Historical Crime. Copy Edit (Nov-Jan '12) Structural Edit. (Sept '12) Assess. (May '12)
Many thanks. I will come back to you for further advice re publication and presentation. Many thanks for your assessment and encouragement. I certainly acknowledge all the faults you have outlined . I have not spent much time on technical matters at this stage and recognise that the text needs major work. I would be very grateful for your continued support and would prefer that you take on the structural edit your self, in consultation with me, and also would be very grateful for your services for proofing copyediting etc. I will go through your assessment in detail over the weekend and come back with some comments in respect of some of your suggestions.
'Two and a Quarter Inches of Emily' by Chris Souter(AU). Chapter Book/YA. Assess. (May '12)
Thank you for your kind words and many thanks to Trevor for his assessment. I have had a pat on the back and a clip under the ear at the same time which I truly appreciate. I am a novice and although the kind words are wonderful his constructive comments are just what I was looking for.
'Nowhere' by Glenn Mitchell(NSW). Sci-fi. Proof (June '14) Reassess. (May '12) Assess (Nov'10)
Thanks, Tom, for your support and criticism. You did a great job and helped me bash it into shape. It would have definitely been a self-indulgent and lazy book without your input. I know I stitched myself up by making it a sci-fi. God knows why I did that. You saw through that quickly. It's clearly low on the 'sci' and more about the drama between characters but as you pointed out, that balance won't help me when it's being considered by publishers. Thanks for picking out more annoying errors. The industry stuff was again very candid, honest and educational. I'll be back with a very different book by the end of the year.
'The Book of Occult' by Simon Clark(AU). Paranormal Thriller. Copyedit (Oct '12). Reassess (Aug '12) Assess (Apr '12)
Thanks, Tom. Your assessment and guidance has taken my ms to the level it needed to be. It's a very tough publishing market and you have given me the final edge to compete. Now the benchmark is high for all future writing and I will definitely be back for more advice and assessment in the future. Your words of encouragement and improvement are well received and many thanks. I looked over your report last night and I will do so again when not at work. Everything seems clear so far just to clarify as I will definitely be coming back for a reassess.
'The Kite Son' by Raji Fernando(NSW). YA Magic Realism. Assess (Mar '12) Book 1 Structural Edit (Dec '12) Book 2&4 Structural Edi (Mar '13) Book 3 (May '13) 'The Kite Zoo', Books 1&2. Structural Edit. (Oct '13) Proofread (May '14)
Thank you for your report. I cannot remember if I sent a note of thank...I was bit upset initially and it took sometimes to make my mind. I am sure it happens to every writer. Then I worked on the book again and changed the way the story move forward. I split the book into 3 books...a series. Do you know anyone who can undertake structural editing of my book. Hope you would help me.//It look more appealing to children now. Agree. I went through the book 1 again and I must say you that I like the way was done by you.//Thanks for your advice...great!!. I will have few weeks of free time in April and I am going to follow instructions you have given...thanks again.// Its brilliant...I love you.
'Lavender Skies' by Tony Ivers(NSW). Historical Romance. Proof&Copyedit. (Feb '12)
Thanks Tom, you have done a great job and I appreciate it greatly. That's one off the bucket list! Now I need to get back to learning piano. Published Feb '12
'Embouchure' by Miles Rothwell(AU). YA Realist Fiction. Assess (Feb '12)
I've had a brief read of the report. I'll take it home and do a more thorough read, but I think Trevor has raised some good points, a lot of which I suspected maybe true, but having someone else pinpoint them seems to make them stand out.
'The Wall of Paradise' by Tom Woodward(VIC). Speculative. Assess. (Jan '12)
Hey Tom, thanks for the report. I do have some questions but not quite sure what they are just yet! I need some distance from it before I can do anything productive about it. When it comes to genres and how to categorise work, I never think about that at all, but it's good to see how it comes across. Maybe I could re-submit it at a later date.
'Elijah With His Hand On His Heart' by Jami Crittle(AU). YA Issues Fiction. Assess. (Nov '11)
THANK YOU SO MUCH for such an encouraging and useful assessment. You've pointed out flaws that I suspected, and some I didn't, and also put to rest many of my fears. Several of my first stabs at writing this novel were not the slightest bit believable because it took some time for me to get the voice and psyche of a teenage boy, so I'm very happy that you were convinced. I'm going to get started! Thanks again. I feel like I've got a whole new lease on writing it. I can't tell you how helpful it is to have some feedback.
'Help Me Out' by Nicole Jamison. Literary. Assess. (Nov '11)
Thank you for your assessment of 'Help Me Out', and also for emails above and beyond the call of duty. The criticism is very helpful, not so sure about the praise. The enthusiasm, though, is a shock. I am humbled, striving for grace, secretly thrilled. Anyway, working on synopsis. It's not my strong suit, as you know. You have an advantage, you understand: you know what the damned ms is about. Wish I did? But shall persevere.
Varuna Publisher Fellowship 2011 - Text
'Lithgow'. Historical Fiction. Assess. (April '12)
'House of Thunder Series, Book 1:The Father' by Christopher Craig.
Historical Fiction. Assess. (July '11) HoT1 published Feb '12. Lithgow published Dec '11. www.chriscraigbooks.com Out on most ebook platforms
'Bollywood Extras'. Literary. Assess (Aug '12) Out on Smashwords Sept 2012.
'Blackfella Bloodsucka' by Dr Bruno Starrs (now That Blackfella Bloodsucka Dance) Dark Fantasy Satire. Assess (Aug-Sept'11) formerly 'Faith and Malignancy' Assess (Jun '08)
Many thanks for your assessment report on Bollywood Extras which I have now read several times. I do not disagree with your comments one bit, but beg your indulgence in reading my lengthy responses, questions and subsequent intentions with BE, and any resultant comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the manuscript assessments. Trevor's advice was brilliant and after some very frenetic work attending to it, the manuscript was much improved and accepted for publication.Published Just Fiction Oct 2011. Out on most platforms.
'PRIMAL Vengeance (May-Jun '12)
PRIMAL Unleashed' by Jack Silkstone. Action Thriller. Copy&Proof(Apr-Aug'11)
PRIMAL Origin.(July '11)
I asked Tom to do a final edit of PRIMAL Unleashed and he exceeded all my expectations. He not only picked up the typos that my numerous test-readers missed, his comments developed my writing and helped me improve. I valued his professional advice and definitely look forward to working with Tom again. - Jack Silkstone June '12: I finally published Vengeance, all looking good. You smashed through those edits quickly. I actually manually put in every change this time so I've learnt from the mistakes hopefully. Next time there should be much less to do. Thanks for the quick turnaround. http://www.facebook.com/primalunleashed http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/72958 Origin, Unleashed and Vengeance now out on most platforms. Primal Unleashed hits #2 on Amazon Spy Stories bestseller list.
'Parable of the Two Sons' by Christopher Bevan. Literary. Assess Jun '11. Reassess Mar '12.
Tell Trevor I said many thanks. Some of these quotes from our best literary novelist will be of interest to you and, more to the point, to Trevor, as he 'owns'' the story nearly as much as I do. I would like to say it is the quality of the writing but it is the quality of the MS reviewing, I think, which secures good reviews. Published Feb '13. 2nd ed. May '13 Goanna Press.
'Purple Front' by Ann-Therese King. Literary. Reassess (Nov '12) Assess (June '11)
Thanks Tom. Why did I have a gut feeling you were going to give me a fascinating/complex report? (will need to digest a bit more, obviously). The 'critique' does not completely track around the area I anticipated - which is benefits of this process. Curious that you should describe report as 'somehow inadequate' Well worth the money! I know you have technically discharged your duties - beautifully I might add - but since you encouraged clarifications of report plus 'keeping in touch on it': I thought you might be interested to know that your feedback had me almost immediately brewing a potential solution to all problems simultaneously - a successful assessment process! It's a risk, but all writing is, no?
'Mudlark' by Chris Matthews. Fantasy. Assess (June '11)
I write to say how absolutely stunned and thrilled I was with your assessment, Trevor. I never realised what a buzz it could be to have someone (who is not a family member!) enjoy what I have written. I will get onto the copy editing straight away. I have always been fairly ignorant about grammar, punctuation and syntax, so I really appreciate your notes in that regard. Finally, thank you again.
'Dingo's New Jeans' by Rod Menere. Chapter Book (Middle School). Assess. (June '11) Reassess. (Oct '14)
A belated thanks for your appraisal of my manuscript, Tom. Your report was informative, supportive and appropriately critical... I loved it. I'm working on revising and improving different stories, and correcting my grammar. Your comments about characters engaging in conversation, and bringing forth other characters, were especially useful. Those ideas have contributed to the draft of two more stories - but I'll leave those asaide for now. I'll definitely get back to you once changes have been completed.
'Young in a Wild Place' by Jackie Knox. Memoir. Reassess (Oct '13) Reassess (Mar '12) Assess. (June '11)
Thank you, Tom. I like what you have said and I will look into the changes and see to the corrections. Thank you again for your help so far. I will contact you later to let you know what happens next. You have kind of made my day for your honest assessment of my manuscript. Your comments have given me some hope and inspiration, and I will get down, now that I am home from West Australia, and try to start the editing.
'The Jade Wardens' by Richard Forge. Crossover Fantasy. MS Development. (Dec '09-June '11) Assess (Nov '09)
Thanks so much for everything you've done, Tom. Your support has been amazing. I used a MS assessor before you, made changes to the MS, but didn't really understand why, and so didn't improve much. I feel much more confident as a writer after working with you. Partially because you were so blunt with your initial appraisals. It meant that when you gave compliments later, I felt confident you weren't blowing wind up my sails. Streamlining (and punctuation) seemed to be the key.The biggest change is that I feel that I?m much more confident at picking what is good writing and what is drivel. I've got a feel for what I'm aiming for.
'Testimony' by Simon Dyer. Memoir. Assess. (June '08)Re-assess as 'SoulBare' (May '11)
Thanks to both of you. That's exactly the kind of feedback I was after (and could never have known) - strengths weaknesses etc. Lot's to do... I'm learning to be a writer through this study and am secretly stoked to have so much to do. So cheers.
'GriffinSinger' by Judith Michael. Fantasy. Short Assess. (May '11) Reassess (July '11)
Tom, thank you again for your very prompt attention, your encouragement, and for giving me such helpful insights into my own work. I am on the road once more! I will likely contact you again.
'Sunstone' by Inara Strungs. Contemporary Fiction. Assess. (May '11)
I appreciate your kind words. It's so hard to judge your own work and whether it's worth persisting. Your comments are very helpful and I'll certainly be using them to try and improve the novel. I was secretly hoping that I wouldn't have to rewrite it, but I know from workshops that it's the key to a decent novel (though I hope I don't have to do it 35 times, as Peter Carey is purported to have done).
'Cicada' by Moira McKinnon. Contemporary Fiction. Assess. (May '11) Reassess (Aug '11) Canada
Thank you so much to both of you. The manuscript assessments were critical. Thank you for the discussion -it was very helpful - I won't race and will let the ending emerge. Yes, it would be good if you could read it again later on, Trevor (when that ending has gracefully emerged!). The comments are great.
Accepted, Naher Agency 2012. Accepted, Allen&Unwin 2012. Release 2014.
'Guarding Darling' by Kara Peterson. YA Fantasy. Assess (May'11) Reassess (Nov '12) Proof and Copy Edit (July '13)
Thanks so much for your hard work. I know it's probably mindlessly boring correcting and re-reading the whole thing again. Thanks so much for your analysis, Tom. Yes, there is plenty of work still to do. Your positive feedback has boosted my mojo to try and perfect it. Perhaps when I've given it one last rewrite, you might loke to read it again. Please pass on my thanks to Trevor for his assessment. Back to the drawing board.
'Taxi! Grunge, Grace and Gravity' by Joe Giarratano. Non-fiction. Assess (Apr'11)
Thanks for the assessment.I agree with the two book scenario. I knew I was off track ,with the George and Bob blowout, but it just happened. It was if someone else was writing... it just took over. Your comments on the introduction are noted like you say, easily fixed. Your advise is invaluable, Tom. Published Aug '12. http://www.taxithebook.com.au/
'Christianity' by Mark Fulton. Non-fiction. Assess. (Apr'11)
Thank you so much for the feedback. It is obvious you took the trouble to do a good job. I am flattered by your assessment, Trevor, and to be honest, I really needed some encouragement as there have been many people who have directly and indirectly told me I am wasting my time. I was particularly heartened that you said you found the story fascinating because...yes, it is a very big story that the world deserves to know, and I think you have realised that. I continue to work on the script, and will use all your suggestions. I am well aware I am no William Shakespeare, and never will be, but you have given me some confidence to believe my writing is of a reasonable quality. I'm going to ask for some more help from you down the track. I will get back to you in the next few weeks.
'Bourse Bandits'. Corporate Drama/Science. Express Proof. (Aug '12)
'Eve's Speed' by Alex Pucci. Crime/Futurist Novella. Proof&Copy Sample (Apr'11) Assess (Mar'11)
Thank you very much Tom, great work. I'm glad you made it.(BB) Thank you Tom for your editing.(P&C)I understand where you come from and hope to be able to work on the rest myself.So you'll be hearing from me again.(Assess)I'm encouraged by Trevor's report and found it very helpful. I will be in touch after a bit of thinking over.
'The Heart of a Woman' by Burt Surmon. Contemporary Fiction. Assess (Mar'11)
Thank you for confirming that I'm not much good at writing a novel. The reason for sending it to you in the first place was to gain some insight as to how to overcome this deficiency. All is not lost apparently and Trevor's idea of running it as an autobiography is interesting to me seeing, as you point out, that that's what it is. Tell Trevor his advise does speak to me and yes, I will take the additional step of heeding it. I might get in touch with you again in 12 months time, if I can afford it.
'People Like Us' by Rebecca Langham. Contemporary Fiction. Assess (Mar'11)
Thanks Tom. No doubt everyone gets a little depressed when they get their report! So I guess in the end it either needs to be 'dumbed down' (and what a thought, to delete some of the passages I'm more proud of) or somehow turned in to more of a literary fiction? It's really nice that you seem to have some faith in the prospect of it going somewhere. I'll re read the report and get working again. With any luck I might have a re submission someday in the not too distant future.
'The Jab' by John Dawes. Fiction. Submission Pack Assess (Feb '14) ShortAssess. (Mar'11)
Many thanks Tom. Greatly appreciate your comments. Whom I'm really writing for is something I hadn't considered & will guide me from here. Agree with your suggested changes and about to start grappling with them. Intend coming back to you for further review at later stage of the book.// Just wanted to update you on how I've addressed the points you raised. Have re-organised the sequence of chapters. Have attended to grammatical & other points of course. Thanks for comments on introductory letter. Some of suggestions to be found on line can mislead. Wondered if you could spare a little time this week to discuss above and to get your feedback on few other points.
'On Hellfire Bluff' by Meg Bignell. Children. ShortAssess. (Mar'11)
Well Tom you have me slightly flabergasted with your report. I've been in a state of uncomfortable embarassment since I sent it - for myself and for you having to tell me gently that it's a dead horse I shouldn't flog. But 'magic' is about the best response I could wish for, because that is precisely what I was trying for. Thank you. Anyway, I will glow a bit longer and then sit down and look at it all again.
'City With No Children' by Daniel Dewar. Literary Novella. Assess (Mar'11)
Thank you for the feedback, Tom. It was exactly what I needed - very exact and professional. Hopefully by June/July I will have another revision for you to appraise.
Now 'Divine Fury'. Proof and Copy Edit. (Jul-Aug'12) Reassess. (April '12)
'Divinity' by Linda Rickard. YAFiction. Assess. (Mar'11) LoR
I have reviewed what you've done from start to finish, Tom, and have learnt a lot from it. Okay, I get where you're coming from. I will make further changes (as I trust your opinion). Love what you have done so far! Qu: do you ever host writers' workshops. I appreciate Trevor's guidance. It has put my mind at ease to receive feedback from an industry expert. Thanks for your help also.
'GuLPing' by Terina Lawrence-Berne. Women's Lit. Copy Edit (Aug '12) Reassess (April '12) Assess (Feb'11)
Thanks for the report, Tom. Very useful and hopefully I will be able to take on your suggestions and make it viable. ... what I would like to do is to send the first three chapters for proofing once I have reworked them. So will send you some more pages after the next attempt.
'The Green Blood Witch' by Cathie Forrest. Specualtive. Assess (Feb '11)
Thanks so much for such a quick response. And many thanks to Trevor of course. At first read I am most happy with the report. I had my own concerns, but to know how to proceed I needed to hear them from some one else. I already agreed with most of what Trevor has now said, but in a more nebulous way. You sort of know what, but not quite how, being just too close to your own story. Trevor has said it well and a lot has come clear. I will have some questions but will give myself a week to think on them.
'Babes in the Water' by Stephanie and Rick Kalesh. Memoir/Travel. Assess (Nov '10) Proof (Sept '11)
I hope you enjoy all the new dialogue and characters you suggested I include. I feel that this version does much more "showing" and less "telling". I really appreciate you fitting me into your busy schedule, Tom. Thank you so much for finishing bitw so quickly. I am very excited to see the new grown-up, less loquacious ms. We shall keep you posted about its progress.
'Spoilt for Suspects' by Paul Keay. Speculative Crime. Assess (Oct '10)
I've started working on my second attempt with all Trevor's excellent points in mind. Hopefully you'll hear from me again in about a year's time.
'Puripuri Dreaming', Vol.2 (Oct '10) 'Melted Wax' Vol. 3 by John Bell. Adventure. Assess (Sept '10)
I've now digested fully your assessment. I find it excellent. I'm a bit excited about trying to make it work and already can see the beginnings of where to go, because I understand what you have said, and it makes sense. Thank you again.
'Murder in Ferrara'. Historical Crime Assess. (Apr'11)
'A Message Post-Mortem'. Crime Novella. Assess & Copyedit.
(Apr'11)' The Florentine Detective Collection' by John O'Connor. Crime. Assess (Sept '10) Proof Story 1 & 2 (Oct '10) Reassess (Nov'10)
Thanks for the assessment and your advice. Both are extremely helpful. I have an idea for a final story along the lines you suggest and I will, if I may, send it to you for assessment within a week or so.
'In The Shadow of the Moonlight' by Christopher Davis. Adventure. Submission Package Assess. (Sept. '10)
Thanks, Tom. This has been great and well worth it. I understand and appreciate your insight and now I'm going to work hard on improving this.
'Venus on a Budget' by Karen Hutton. Non-fiction. Assess. (Sept '10)
Thanks so much for your thorough report. I've got a long way to go... ! I absolutely appreciate your time and effort in pointing me in the right direction, and will be reading through your assessment many more times to assimilate it all. I'll be in touch with version 3.
'Energy Intelligence' by Aleksandra Zaric. Spiritual Self-help. Ms Development/Copyedit (May '09-Aug '10>
Tom, you are a legend! Thank you so much for your prompt responses and especially for always making me feel better.
eLit Book Awards 2011 Bronze Medal.
Reassess as 'Cold Fusion' (Nov '10)
'Found Objects' by Sara Lyons. Literary. Assess (July '10)LoR
Trevors report is wonderful. It was terrific to receive such a well-thought out and intelligent critique of my work. I'll be in contact with him to ask a few questions.Thank you, Tom, that was very quick! I'll read Trevors advice and discuss with him. I think hes a terrific assessor! Again, thank you for the original assessment. I really cant describe how useful it was to me.
Proof & copyedit as 'The Minoan'.(July '10)
'Digging at the Crossroads of Time' by Christos Morris. Literary. Assess. (May '10)LoR
Tom, thank you for the fine report. I appreciate your keen eye. I'll cal you Friday for a yarn. We are all archeologists who scratch upon the surface of our own mysteries. Your assessment was perfect.
Silver Medal, Independent Publishing Awards (IPPYs) 2010
'WaXXXed' by Tamsin Ragusa and Darren Holley. Non-fiction. Copyedit Sept '10. Reassess July '10. Assess Feb '10. LoR
Many thanks for getting this through so quickly. Will keep you posted on progress and will most likely be needing your sage advice again at some stage during the next steps of the process. Many thanks Tom, from both of us.
'Grandpa's Big Mistake' by Alan and Mignon Edgecombe. Chapter Book. Assess. (FMss July '10)
Tom, many thanks for your report. You have given us much to think about on our annual trip North, in a week or two. Will be in touch, (probably in about three years!!!) when we've finished rehashing.
'Dragons Eye' by Sue-ellen Pashley. YA Fantasy. Assess. (FMss May '10)
Thanks very much for such a prompt turn around in reading the MS. Please thank Trevor for me for such a comprehensive report - he's certainly got me thinking! I certainly take on board the notion of having a one off book as a new writer. I have already started writing the second (about half way through) so my plan, at the moment, is to finish it and then contemplate whether I can reduce both of them enough (such a hard thing to do!) to make into one book. And I will definitely be looking at the title. Thanks, once again, for such great feedback - I'll certainly be back with the second one (or the first and second melded).
'Cosmic Girl in Ultrachrome' by Chris Large. Sci-fi. Assess. (FMss Apr '10)
Thank you for your encouraging assessment, it really means a lot to me. I've always had problems as a writer, firstly due to my innate laziness, and secondly because I'm easily discouraged (I know, picked the wrong happy place). Having someone tell me my time is not wasted and giving me a road map to developing a polished product will push me to see this one through to completion. And your timely response allows me to get going right away.
Funding recommendation (Feb 2013) 'Elsewhere in Success. (Jan 2013) Reassess as 'Elsewhere' (Oct '10) 'Mirage' by Iris Lavell. Literary Fiction. Assess. (Mar '10) LoR.
2013 This is far better than anything I could have expected. Thank you. I really appreciate your support and the words of encouragement. Obviously the work arises from a collaborative environment and I am under no delusion about that. It wouldn't have been the same novel without input from you. What you had to offer in particular was the clear vision and absolute hard-hitting honesty that I needed at that stage of the writing (constructive and with enough kind words). It spurred me on to solve the problem of the pace, which would have been a killer not only to publication, but to people reading on in the event that it was published. We are so lucky as writers in this country to have people of your calibre prepared to assist us in this skill development.
'The Dinglemen' by Karen Hocking. YA Fantasy. Assess. (FMss Mar '10)
Thankyou. Please pass on my thanks to Trevor for the report. I have taken on board his suggestions and have a few ideas for changes that have arisen while thinking about his comments. My money was well spent. Thanks again.
Reassess as 'Blood Sky' (FMss April '12)
Reassess as 'Serenity' (FMss Mar '10)
'Warrior' by Craig Phillips. YA Sci-fi. Assess (FMss May '08)
2012 Much appreciated. Another will be coming your way in a few months. Thanks for all your help.
2010 Thanks so much for your advice and constructive criticism, Tom. Like before, your comments, advice, and constructive criticism is very, very helpful. I have recenlty completed the entire manuscript, and currently proof-reading. When I sell my first million copies, I'll definitely apportion you some of my royalties ....
'Mosaic' by Marcus Meinhold. Mainstream/Literary. Assess. (FMss Mar '10) Proof & Copyedit (FMss Jun/Jul '11)
Just finished going over your edit. Loved your firm but light touch. Sounds more like something a lover would say - but that's what came to mind. What was I thinking - all those 'and's and 'but's and 'then's and 'now's. Next book they won't be there for you to edit. As well as vastly improving the book, you taught me many valuable lessons. Many thanks, Tom.
Trevor's assessment was extremely pleasing due to its exactness, clarity and simple honesty. He shed light on the issues, that I, deep down, were troubled over. This is why I so readily agreed with him.
'Bandaid for a Broken Leg' by Damien Brown. Memoir. Ms Development. (FMss Feb '10)
I fortunately managed to secure a publishing contract a couple of months ago for my Band Aid MS, so am no longer looking to explore other avenues. Thanks Tom. It will be out in July next year through Allen and Unwin, same title (for the moment anyway!). Cheers again for your help in the past.
'Terrain' by Wendy Walsh. Speculative/Literary. Assess. (FMss Feb '10) Reassess. (Mar/April).LoR
Thank you for your comments regarding Terrain, both positive and negative. I need that. I have decided to think about the ending some more, possibly change it altogether. I am always the first person to scream cliche. In this case I thought I might have gotten away with it because of the book's overall absurdity. In regards to my poor grammar in many cringe-making instances, in retrospect I can't believe some of the errors you have pinpointed. Thanks, Tom, for your time and expertise.
Reassess as 'The Rosito Brothers'. (Apr'11) 'Rise and Fall of the Rosito Brothers' by Kevin Stone. Crime/Adventure/Literary. Assess (FMss Feb'10)
Thanks, Tom, I think. No, really. Everything you say rings true, and I?m deeply grateful for your comments. I laboured over my first novel Faith through forty drafts and over twenty years, so if nothing else I think you?ve shown me how to go from this first draft to something much tighter, without so much agony and despair. I?ll start working on it soon and will definitely be getting back to you.
'No Copy, No Transfer' by Christina Mowle. Assess (Feb '11)
Pitman Street' by Christina Mowle. Literary. Assess. (FMss Feb '10)
Thank you for your encouragement and congratulations. I am of course delighted by Trevor's thoughtful and constructive comments and truly thrilled that he enjoyed the book.Thank you and Trevor very much for this helpful report and such a speedy response! I had steeled myself for a wait of several weeks. It is a delight to have someone pay such close attention to it and I will enjoy fixing the problems Trevor has highlighted. I am very encouraged by the warm response.
Varuna Publisher Fellowship shortlist A&U 2011
Please pass on my thanks to Trevor. He has given me some very useful feedback and some great suggestions for me to think through. I will eventually resubmit my work once I have worked through my manuscript again. I may have a few questions about some changes I might make once I have fully processed the feedback, but I will let you know.
'All In A Txt' by Kristy Lee. Chicklit/LifeStories. Assess. (FMss Jan '10)
Thank you so much, Tom. You definitely have confirmed some of my own thoughts on this one and given me some great pointers to improve on. I also didn't really like the first few chapters as they didn'lt grip me let alone someone else! I'll have a thorough read over the weekend and get to work on some amendments. If you would be keen to review a resubmission later on that would be great if you could face it again!!
Reassess as 'The Dead Stars'. 89000 words (May '10).
'The Queen Is Dead' by Jes Judge. Sci-fi/Crime. 99,961 words. Assess (FMss Jan '10) LoR
Thanks for the assessment. The comments were really helpful. I've started revising the ms and you'll be hearing from me again.
'Jack Juggler, or Protean Shakespeare' by Peter Frank. Critical. 185,442 words. Assess (FMss Dec-Jan '09-10)
I wanted you to read the ms originally because I considered that there was a likelihood that you would also have a sense of flair - and, in short, it was very good to get an assessment that was viewed in that overall context. There was the tough stuff and without doubt I could recognize myself in all my glory in your description of my style. It is good to get the all in one verification - . Just to say: there are, as well, some real benchmark aspects to help me keep an eye on things as I revise, and "shorten my sentences": actually, this aspect of the report will be most helpful, and is being -.
'The Okapi Promise' by Paula Boer. Adventure. (FMss Reassess Dec '09) Assess (FMss Oct 2009)
Thanks for your honesty. I must confess to being a bit gobsmacked. I#9;m glad I have had you read the ms - better to hear these things from you than receive a million rejection slips and not know why.
Thank you so much for your comments. They make sense to me and I can see the truth in them. This is my first novel. I am thrilled with the feedback. IFWG Publishing 2010.
'Who We Were' by Lucy Neave. Literary. Assess (FMss Dec '09) Reassess (May '10) x-assess (Dec'10)
That book you read. It's being launched on May 23rd at 6pm in Canberra. You're in the acknowledgments. Thanks again for all of your help. I'll be sending you the next one to read.
Thanks Tom. Am a bit stunned, but yeah, I was hoping I might've been on the right track. I'll try to think of a way to thank you properly--besides acknowledgements, if things go according to plan.
Thanks so much for your report. It honestly nearly made me cry to think that someone could care about this thing (which I care about, of course) but which has been a LOT of WORK for a long long time. I'm not sure exactly what I'll do, but I'll think about your report and the novel over the next week or so, and I might email you again then. Thanks again.
'The Unlikely Prospect of a Wave' by Derek Baines. Literary. 58,290 words. Assess. (FMss Nov '09) LoR
Thank you for your feedback. I found it very useful. Your thoughts, particularly on the second half of the manuscript (that the 'Australian end' of the story needs some building-up), are certainly in line with some other comments I have had from a colleague. I agree with them too. I shall be doing some re-drafting over the next week or so to incorporate your various suggestions.
'Cricket For Bunnies' by Graham Denton. Sports Manual. Assess. (FMss Nov '09)
I have just recieved your assessment report on 'Cricket For Bunnies'. Many thanks. I had no idea exactly what your work involved, but everything that you have outlined makes great sense to me. I am encouraged to continue with the project and will submit a more polished presentation to you in the near future hopefully. Thank you again.
The Best Australian Poems 2009, ed. Robert Adamson. Copyedit (FMss Sept '09)
Thanks, it reads better now. Yes, you're right about the need for a more solid statement. Once I knew I had you to count on, I didn't have to worry about making mistakes and then the writing started to flow. This is great now. I have another 24 hours to come up with some killer sentence as good as Webb's containing something I want to get across about poetry in this country.
'The Pendant' by Fran Lazner. Speculative. 111,033 words. Assess.(FMss Sept '09) Reassess (Nov '09)
I'm a passionate doubter, especially when it comes to my own abilities. So I took the praise and comments of the numerous family members and friends who read my manuscript (one even read the whole thing!) with a bucket of salt. After listening to their comments and countless rewrites, I felt like I hadn't really progressed much beyond my first draft. Then I took a leap of faith and handed my story over to Trevor for appraisal. It was the best thing I could have done. Trevor's report was encouraging, insightful and blunt where necessary, and it made me see my writing in a different light. He also showed me exactly where I was going astray and gave me solid advice on how to fix the problems. This is what I learnt: I can write (big sigh of relief), I can't punctuate (LOL), I have an unhealthy penchant for melodramatic villains and a manuscript that is worth persevering with. As I write this, I am waiting on Trevor?s reappraisal, and I know that his feedback will be exactly what I need to get to the next step, and my dream of one day being a published author. The Italians have a saying - grazie mille - which literally means a thousand thanks. Grazie mille Trevor!
Reassessment as 'The Beast Within Me'. Jun '10 'The voice of Beast' by Tabitha Bird. Memoir. 81,535 words. Assess. (FMss Nov '09)
Thank you. And I find myself writing those two little words and realizing how very little they actually are. But thank you anyway, despite the smallness of the words. The honesty in your evaluation was priceless. You can?t pay for integrity. You did more than feedback to me on the issues that needed fixing, you showed me my manuscript in a new light. That is what I was looking for. Outside eyes that could see what I was having trouble focusing on. I have known for a while that this MS is not ready and needed work. But I could not define the issues.Passed Agents' and Publishers' 1st Submissions, June 2010
'Aramanthe's Wall' by Geoff Hilton. Speculative Utopian. 263,981 words. Assess.(FMss Sept '09)
Thanks very much for the effort you have put into assessing my manuscript. I started off wondering if I could write. I paid no attention to the market place and just let my imagination take over. I found it an absolutely marvellous experience. You have brought me down to earth - gently. The inspiration to write still remains strong but I obviously need to be smarter if I am to find a market for my stories. I am going to follow your advice by putting Aramanthes' Wall aside for the time being and concentrating on creating a new work. Eighty to a hundred thousand words; market oriented; award oriented; and a page turner. I will also incorporate the lessons taken from your critique. Hopefully at some point in the future, you will be around to assess the outcome.
'Wish' by Colin Cortie. YAFantasy. 78,713 words. Assess. (FMss Sept '09)
Thanks for the ms report, I think it was dead on in terms of accuracy. The problems you identified in terms of my middle section were excellent: I knew I had some problems but didn't really know what they were; you cleared that up for me nicely. The advice concerning re-writing the book from the draft is challenging but worthwhile, I will do as you suggest. Most of all I would like to thank Trevor for his kind words and support: I had suspected that 'Wish' was actually quite good, but it?s good to hear that from a more objective reader!
'The Adventure of Kayl: The Everlasting Edict' by Liam Charlesworth. Fantasy. 196,286 words. Assess. (FMss Aug/ Sept '09)
I'd just like to offer my thanks to you once again for taking the time to work through my manuscript. You helped put a lot of things into perspective for me and already I've taken my first few steps into improving my writing. It'll be a long road, I'm sure, but it's one I intend to walk along until the end, no matter the hardships I must face. When the time comes that my future manuscript is completed, I will certainly contact you again.
'The Antarctic Code' by Deo de Wit. Thriller. Assess and Mentor (March-Aug '09)LoR
'The King of Mount Hotham: My Father' by Gillian Salmon. Bioraphy/Memoir. 133,717 words. Assess. (FMss Aug '09)
Thank you for the honest connection. I never know why people just don't come out and say what they think. Nobody ever does that, so it makes you wonder if they are honest or not. They usually take the easy way out and say 'It was wonderful. Your assessment is exactly what I needed - at last something I can work with. What a shame I had not found you years ago. It would have saved me hours, weeks, months of trying to put everything into perspective myself. It must be so good to be able to see the whole picture as you do. Published Sept 2013.
'Principia Mathemagica' by S.F.Winser. Fantasy. 65,602 words. Assess. (FMss Aug '09)
Thank you (and Trevor, of course!) for this. Most of it was straightforward and clear. The notes on structure were along the lines of stuff I already knew, but needed a kick up the backside to fix. Inserts removed. Exposition heavy chapters and epilogues trimmed, torn asunder and scattered. A lazy plot-point redefined to make it feel less clumsy. There were a couple of times where Trevor thought I was underestimating the reader... when I think I was actually underestimating the writer. Most of the other stuff was... surprisingly helpful. They always tell you to kill your darlings; so rarely do you get sent a list of your darlings' names and addresses - and a loaded gun.
'Hummingbird' by Ami-Louise Sharpe. Children's story. 3,261 words. Assess. (FMss July '09)
I realised that I never properly thanked you for helping me with my children's story, Hummingbird. So my sincere apologies for that, but thank you, your advice was a huge help! I've since re-worked the ending, tidied up all the grammatical errors etc and have recently sent it to Black Dog Books. So now the waiting begins... I've recently made a start on story number 2.
'Handy Andy' by Claire Hales. Children's story. 1334 words. (FMss June '09)
Wow! Thankyou for your positive feedback, it really means a lot! I appreciate you looking at my story and you have given me the confidence to pursue my little goal further. I will have a go at sending it out as it is. Again, thanks so much for your time and critique, I am so grateful.
'Graveyard or Glory' (now Pozieres, the Anzac Story) by Scott Bennett. History. 128,857 words. Mentor (FMs Dec '08 - May '09) LoR.
Assessment as 'Dark Somme Flowing'. 152,513 words. (FMss Sept '08)
After a long stretch of researching and writing in isolation, I came across Tom's website. It was with some trepidation that I rang Tom and passed on my non-fiction manuscript, which had never been read by anyone. As any writer knows, this is a vulnerable moment. I received Tom's report a few weeks later. It was comprehensive and covered all the technical components of writing, many of which I was blissfully ignorant of (conjunctive adjectives, writer's voice). Tom's detailed comments were incisive and brutally honest (which I wanted and needed). Balanced with the brutal honesty were sincere words of encouragement, which provided me with the confidence to continue. I used the report as a map to shape my slab of 160k words into a more evenly weighted manuscript of 120k words. Throughout the edit, I returned to Tom's report 20-30 times, using it as a guide throughout. I resubmitted my trimmed down manuscript a second time and received further insighful comments from Tom. I then sent my manuscript to a literary agent and was signed up within a week; another week and I had signed up with my preferred publisher, with the book planned for launch in early 2011. None of this would have been possible without Tom's help and mentoring. I am forever grateful. Accepted, ALM, June '09.
Contract, Scribe, July '09. Release April 2011. Shortlisted Manning Clark House Cultural Award 2011
'Evil Nation' by Ila Lessing. Literary/Crime. 57,793 words. Copyedit (FMs May-June 09) Express Assessment (FMss April 09) LoR.
Tom's assessment report was encouraging but also an eye-opener for a first-timer like me. I could tell from the report that he completely understood what I was trying to achieve with the manuscript. Whereas I knew something was amiss, I could not put my finger on it. Tom managed to identify the problem areas with accuracy, sensitivity and insight. He made a few strategic suggestions which lead to a revision. After implementing his suggestions in the rework, the disjointed parts fitted together, the point of view became more balanced and the ending was well-rounded. I realised at this point that I was in expert hands and that Tom added immeasurable value to my manuscript.As a next step Tom did the copy-editing. He fixed my numerous errors but never changed the essence of the manuscript. I now feel confident enough to start submitting the ms to agents & publishers. I want to thank Tom for his diplomacy, patience and professionalism and can recommend working with him wholeheartedly.
'Island of Fire' by Alex Meehan. Fantasy. 69,489 words. Assess. (FMss May '09)
Thanks, Tom, this is a very encouraging assessment. I confess to being a bit shell-shocked - one of the reasons for my delayed response. You're right about the ending, and a proper epilogue should work nicely. I'll get cracking on it and the other minor revisions.
'My Mummy is an Angel Fairy now'. Children's Fiction. 771 words. Express Assessment. (FMss May 09) 'Fractured Fairytales' by Allison Grabham. Children's Verse. 380 words. Express Assessment. (FMss Mar 09)
I have recently found an agent overseas who was interested in my work. The only thing I needed was a report on my manuscript. I searched the web and after trying many editors I discovered Tom Flood. Of all the people I contacted, he was the only one who could help me. Tom was happy to answer all of my questions (which helped a lot). He was able to fit my job in and get it done in record time at a very reasonable rate. His evaluation helped me enormously as a children?s writer and I look forward to using his services more in the future.
'The Frightened Yellow Vest' by Mal Briggs. Children's Fiction. 1985 words. Assess (FMss April '09)
Excellent dissection. I will take all your comments on board and work towards a total reworking. Having crossed this appraisal bridge, I will no doubt come back to you at some time in the future, whether with a reworked manuscript or another.
'Sports Witch' by Robin du Merrick. Crime. Assess. (Nov '14)'The Lady Could Kill For Love', 'Love Storm in Paradise', 'Treachery Reef'. Crime Suspense. Submission pack assess. (Nov '12)//'Snow Spider'. Crime. x-assess.(FMss Mar '11) 'First Rays'. Crime. Assess. (Feb '09)
Tom: Thank you for your on-going interest in my development. Your emailed alerts are much appreciated.// Let's hope a publisher agrees with your assessment of my efforts. I'll digest your notes as soon as.
'Spirit of the Jaguar' Reassess (FMss July '09) formerly 'The Jaguar Prince' by Christina Clark. YA Fantasy. Assess (FMss Jan '09) LoR
At the end of last year, I entered my young adult manuscript, 'Spirit of the Jaguar', into the FAW Jim Hamilton Award competition. It didn''t win, but I've just heard that it received a Commended, so I'm very pleased with that. I just wanted to thank you once again for helping me out last year with your assesment - I definitely wouldn't even have considered entering if not for your encouragement.
Many thanks for the reassessment. Commas ? wish I could fill a bucket with them, pour them over the pages, and let them absorb into their rightful places by osmosis! Anyway, I shall now tooth-comb for my last mistakes, re-work my query letter and synopsis, and get going. Thanks for the info on the publisher/agent books and websites, and also on the Text YA Book Prize. Writing competitions had never occurred to me, but I'll definitely give it a go ? nothing to lose. Considering my lack of writing credentials, any such credits and Letters of Recommendation may just swing the balance and entice someone to actually read the ms.
Many thanks for the assessment of my novel. I was greatly relieved to receive your positive comments, and look forward to following your suggestions for improvement. A few of the structural points you picked up on had in fact been niggling me for some time so it's something of a relief to have them aired openly!
Commended, 2009 FAW Jim Hamilton Award.
'Around The Persian Garden' by David Morriset. Romance/Adventure. Reassessment (FMss July 09) Assessment. (FMs Dec 08) LoR
Many thanks for your assessment on my manuscript. While you have convinced me that I still have some extensive work to do, your comments have opened up some highly attractive options for the addition of some new layers to the narrative. Incidentally, I am astounded that you identified accurately some remnants of earlier drafts that I thought I had successfully woven into the draft I submitted to you. You picked the seams with impressive precision! The bottom line is that I feel encouraged and excited by your suggestions about taking a story with some potential and driving to the next level. By the time I complete the next draft I am confident it will read much less like a biography ? or a ?bad work diary? as you described a rather clumsy early part of the narrative. Hopefully, in a few months, I will have a multi-layered story that actually takes the reader to the sidelines ? and occasionally on to the actual playing field ? of one the twentieth century?s most significant political reversals. Again, many thanks for your help.
'Pepper Gets Lost' by Barry Parker, Creative ID. Illustrated Chapter Book. Proof. (FMss Sept 08)
'Just wanted to say thanks for the proof read, all corrected now and my wife is going to read and check I have made all the corrections. There may be a couple of questions/clarifications. Also wanted to say that it was the best mark up I have seen since London I followed it very easily.
Now 'All the Cardinal's Men'. To Kill A Priest by J.J.Barrie. Crime. Assessment & Mentor. 118,991 words. (FMss April-Sept 08) LoR
Writing is a very lonely profession, and like all of us, I needed assistance and critique. I naively sought a manuscript assessment, thinking the MS was finished. After a devastatingly honest first report, three months of numerous emails and hard rewriting followed. Only then did I realise how much was required to bring the MS to a publication stage. I became wholly sick of saying the words, ?Is it relevant?? and remembering the word ?skim?, as I cut and pared, pasted and dumped, losing whole pages in a moment. After removing 20,000+ words over which I had sweated, the result finally received the precious reward ? the assessor?s Letter of Recommendation. In my case, I cannot speak highly enough of Tom Flood. I thoroughly recommend Tom and the tortuous process ? now to publish. Passed Publisher 1st Submission Sept 2008. Publisher CreateSpace Feb 2009.
'Warrior' by R.E. Phillips.Young Adult Sci-fi Horror.14,121 words. Submission Package Assessment.(FMs-April 08)
It was great to receive some constructive comments that I would have otherwise not have considered. I also appreciate your suggestions pertaining to contact details within my intended market, and possible avenues with which to approach prospective publishers and literary agents. I will attend to your suggested amendments and, if okay, contact yourself at a later date to organise a suitable timeframe with which to submit the entire manuscript for your appraisal. Once again, I appreciate your time and comments.
'Elements of Nature' by Jerry Cayzer. Adventure Thriller. 105,000 words. Assessment and Mentor.(FMss Feb 07-April 08)LoR
After experiencing three other assessment/appraisal firms, and getting nowhere, I chanced to approach Flood Manuscripts. Tom Flood personally became my appraiser and in due course my mentor. He turned out to be everything that others were not. With his painstaking guidance, my mish-mash of genres became a genuine adventure/thriller. We collaborated for a little over a year. After the initial appraisal, Tom seemed to know my story and characters as well as I did, yet he was mentoring three other clients during much of the time. Routinely, he replied to emails within a day, and he warned me on occasions of being unavailable for a few days. He was totally frank, to the extent of being brutal at times, then he would lavish praise (?bootiful? for instance) when I made an adjustment that was particularly appealing. I doubt there is anyone to touch Tom Flood.
'Friends & Pho' by Heather Jacobs. Women's Lit/Romance. 61,627 words. Express Assessment (FMss Feb/Mar 08) Express Submission Package. Assess & Proof. (FMs Jul/Aug 08) LoR
I called Tom in a panic when I was trying to meet a deadline for an agent's submission for 'Friends & Pho' and needed some sage advice on what I could do to improve the manuscript before sending it out. Thank goodness I did. Once we established that I shouldn't bother trying to win the Booker Prize, Tom put aside any preconceptions he may have about chick-lit/romance and pointed out with good humour what needed to be done to keep it 'on genre' and therefore more likely to get published. His long list of my careless mistakes was a timely reminder of the importance of proofing and taking the time to read the manuscript over and over, again. He also had some great ideas on adding a little more depth to the story by fleshing out minor characters. Expanding on the interactions between the local Vietnamese and the clueless expat lead has been a great satirical device that has made the story richer. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Tom's services as an objective reader who can instantly see what needs improving and, perhaps more importantly, makes you feel confident enough to do the changes yourself.'
'Alien Soldier'. Short Story/Novella. (Mar '14) Assess.
'Kuda Puti' byB E Holland. Mainstream Adventure. Mentor (Mar 08 - Sept 09) Assess (Feb 08)
I was sitting here thinking of how much my punctuation has improved - I was re-writing a bid document - and thought I would write and thank you. Kuda Puti is having a line by line edit at the moment. Then I hope the KP MS shall be ready to see the light of day. Meanwhile I would like to repeat my thanks for your patience and support.
'Jumping Through Sandcastle Windows' by Malcom Craig. Young Adult Adventure Romance. 118,000 words. Structural Edit and Proof. (FMss - December 07-January 08)
I can't thank Tom enough for his professional and thorough review of my work. Tom's insightful observations and suggestions for improvement always made perfect sense and added much value and clarity to my manuscript. His vast knowledge and proven track record in the industry always gave me confidence. I took on board all of Tom's suggestions; was always happy with Tom's quick grasp of the bigger picture and whole structure, combined with his honest and technically skilled transparent approach. For anybody serious about improving their writing, I am happy to recommend Flood manuscripts. Thanks Tom.
Passed Agent and Publisher 1st Submission
'Thank God I'm an Atheist' (formerly 'Pope Luther Zugzwang I') by Ron Thomas. Satire. 80,150 words. Assess. (FMss - Nov 07)
Thanks for the appraisal Tom. That's fine, and I take on board all that you have said. Thanks for your past help.
'The Eleventh Horse'. Period Crime. 98000 words. Assessment (FMss - May 08)LoR 'Unexpected Corollary' by Derek Scales. Period Crime. 81,605 words. Assessment (FMss - April 07)LoR
Tom was appalled at my typos, shocked at my punctuation, sickened at the mangled grammar but undaunted, he investigated then highlighted my many continuity and period errors. When I accepted his bang-on comments and made the re-write, his enthusiasm encouraged me to go look at the agent scene, lift up my head a little and get back to the keyboard for a sequel. Phillip Island 9/11/07
Passed Agent 1st Submission Nov 2007.
'Servant of the Phrenet, Book 1 of The Quolltellan' by Gayna Denby. Fantasy novel. 101,000 words. Assessment (Flood Manuscripts) June 2007. Submission Copyedit. Sept 2007.
It was wonderful to have someone of Tom Flood's calibre read my MS and like it. He read ALL of the MS and understood what the story was about. Tom's suggestions were insightful and he did not expect me to write like Tolkien. I liked that I was able to ask questions about the comments Tom had made. Thanks to Tom I feel I have a professional looking proposal to present to an agent and hopefully they will be as enthusiastic and positive as Tom Flood has been.
'Comrade's Work' by Karen Fairhurst. Children's Picture Book (text only) 141 words. Assessment (Flood Manuscripts - July 2007)
Thanks for the report - the analysis and information is very constructive and your upfront overview of Australian publishing is very refreshing. I have many ideas to follow. I would always prefer to illustrate and write, and will now continue to do so.
'Triangle Trade' (formerly 'Ice King') by Geoff Woodland. Historical Adventure. Assess (FMs Mar 2007)LoR
Many thanks, Tom, for a very detailed and professional assessment of Ice King and for your speedy replies to all of my various questions. Your initial assessment brought home to me how much I didn't know about the art of writing, but you were kind enough not to make feel foolish. Your comments were exactly what I wanted honest, constructive criticism, followed up with friendly guidance and suggestions as to how I could produce a much tighter and less wordy novel, without reducing the impact of the story. The current version is over 16,000 words shorter, down from 142,000 to 126,000 words, thanks to you! MDW Publishing 2010.
'Beyond The Wall'. Fantasy. Assess. (Sept 2010)
'Ecklar's Curse" by Dale Furse. Fantasy/Science fiction YA novel. 60,000 words. Assessment (Flood Manuscripts - March 2007) Reassessment (July 2007) Proof&Copyedit (Aug 2007)LoR.
I didn't expect it back so quickly and ha, I never saw myself as good at writing, thanks heaps for that and the report. Once again you have helped me fine tune the story and I hope someone out there likes it.(BtW) I'm so glad I sent my ms to Tom. His reading, arguments and comments have helped tremendously in the re-write. He delivered his criticisms with enough humour that I didn?t even feel guilty for my atrocious grammar. I will definitely submit ?Ecklar?s Curse? for a re-appraisal. I actually researched editing courses but then (delete then) thought, nah; I'll send the ms to Tom.
Sept '07 -Just received your LoR. Wow, thank you so much. You really do have a way with words. If nothing else they will want to read EC. I want to read EC.
'China Conversations' by MaryAnn Keady. Radio/Video Interviews. Proof & Copyedit. (FMss May-Nov '07)
'Short Story'. Assess. (Nov-Dec 2009). Reassess (Jan 2010)
'Notes on a War'/'Cabaret'. SS/Theatre. Copyedit. (Jan 2011) USA.
Thanks Tom !!! That is brilliant ! Thank you for doing that so quickly. Will let you know when they are all up for you to view.('07) www.veoh.com www.asia2025.net/ChinaConversations I am just still thinking about your last comments and I guess trying to work out what is best for me. I think just knuckling down and writing more and seeing where it goes. But thanks so much for all the advice. ('09)
'Under The Linden Tree' by Margaret Reid. Life Stories. Assess. (FMss May '07) Reassess Aug '07. Proof & Copyedit Dec '07-Jan '08. Submission Package Mar '08 LoR
'07 Thanks for your speedy assessment of my book. I appreciate that very much and also your comments. '08 I managed eventually to read through the ms and thank you for your work, I think it is wonderful. Published Sid Dartha, Jan 2011
'The Wonders Beyond Thule'. Assess (Apr '12)
'Sparrow Fall'. Subpackage Assess (Apr '11)
'Still Water' + 'Worst Case', Le Mez 4 & 5. Crime Fiction, 58000 & 59000 words. Assessment (Mar-May 2008).
'Evil Spirits', Crime Fiction, 66,500 words. Assessment (Flood Manuscripts - April 2007) LoR.
'Native Soil', Contemporary Fiction, 66,500 words. Assessment (Nov 2006).
'Gatesworth's Reunion', Crime Fiction, 59,500 words. Assessment (Sept 2006) Re-assessment 64,000 words (Feb 2007). by James Packer.
The best sort of assessment comes from someone who hates what you do but admits that you?re right. Tom doesn't hate everything I do, nor admits 100% that I'm right, but I can't imagine anyone in Australia, assessor, editor, critic, with a keener eye for bullshit nor a greater determination to see beneath what troubles him about a book. If I'd been published before I met Tom's brand of assessment, I'd be really missing out. Tom Flood is better than publication. Something they won?t know until they?re published. Also I wanted to say that you're unlikely to get from any other assessor a whole new novel (fortuitously or nae)
'Overkill'. Crime Thriller. By Sharyn Bennett. 330,000 words. Assessment. (FMs - August 2007) 'Book 4'. Crime Thriller in progress. 32,000 words. Assessment (FMs - Mar 2007).'Choice & Consequence'. Romantic Suspense. 266,000 words. Assessment (Flood Manuscripts - Jan 2007) Re-assess (June 2007).LoR.
Having finally worked up the courage to send my completed manuscript in for a professional assessment, after much deliberation, I chose Flood Manuscripts. Tom worked relentlessly through my modern romance story (all 1000 or so pages of it) in great detail and with a thorough understanding of what I was trying to achieve. His comments and criticisms were constructive, positive and immensely helpful, especially his grammatical advice, where my laziness often gets the better of me.
The report was very detailed and professional and every page was worthwhile. The suggestions he made were sensible and his attention to detail is what makes the difference. Most of all, his encouragement and enthusiasm were priceless, the kind of feedback that is invaluable to a first time author. I cannot recommend Tom highly enough. He is generous to a fault with his time and advice and his knowledge of the literary world is exceptional. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Flood Manuscripts to any aspiring author who wants a constructive, knowledgeable and practical assessment of their work. It is worth every cent! Passed Agent & Publisher 1st Submission Nov 2007.
'Beyond Reasonable Doubt'(now Brogan's Crossing) Crime. 99,000 words. Assessment (FMs - Sept 2008)
'Rohallion Dawn' by John Ramsay. Realist Contemporary Fiction. 107,000 words. Assessment (Flood Manuscripts - Dec 2006) LoR.
It's never easy working alone, splendidly isolated from the back-patters and encouragers who usually surround people in their working lives. By the end of your final chapter, the mood can be pretty low and self esteem a thing of the past. With that sense of self-doubt, perhaps even dread, I sent my manuscript to Tom Flood. I needn't have worried. He treated my work with remarkable respect and shook hands with my characters with the easy familiarity of someone who?s known them all his life. Tom knew, without me telling him, what I?d tried to achieve and he produced a detailed report that highlighted what I?d got right and what I'd got wrong. He hit the mark, every time. Rohallion Dawn Longlisted Amazon Manuscript Award, shortlisted Dundee International Book Prize 2009.
'The Last Whale by Chris Pash. Historical Non-fiction. 57,500 words. Mini-assessment and Structural Edit (Flood Manuscripts - July, August & October 2006)LoR
Tom is much more than an editor. He's a mentor and guide. He challenges, cajoles and seeks that little bit extra. The Last Whale, a nonfiction book, needed a lot of fact checking, research and detailed interviews. Tom cut through the cluttter, helping create narrative flow and simple structure while maintaining discipline with facts - Chris Pash.
Shortlisted Frank Broeze Memorial Maritime History Book Prize 2009
'The Nerve Triptych' by Craig Ensor. Postmodern Literary Mystery Fiction. 95,500 words. Assessment (Flood Manuscripts - Oct 2006)LoR.
As you know, in writing any novel the author takes on an immense task in a vacuum of sorts where it is natural to constantly question what you're doing and why you're doing it. Your report, which clearly appreciates my intentions and much more, gives me great joy, encouragement and vindication in undertaking this task. Thank you so much for that.
'Feast of the Bunya'. Pre-settlement Historical Adventure Romance Fiction. 96000 words. Assessment (Driftwood - Oct 2006)
Many thanks for the very promising review of my manuscript. Above all, its restored my confidence, which was inevitably waning after such a long gestation. The suggestions for tidying it up also confirmed and clarified a number of points that I was unsure about. I am now getting back to work with renewed vigour - somewhat lacking of late.
Reassessment as 'Under The Weather' 107,640 words.(Nov 2007)LoR.
'In Sickness Land' by Matthew Clouston. Speculative Dystopian Satire Fiction. 95,500 words. Assessment (Flood Manuscripts - Aug/Sept 2006)
Tom Flood read my manuscript promptly, no small thing, but also thoroughly and carefully. This is what I wanted and exactly what I required (not always the same!). That care and thoroughness led him to make a pertinent and useful assessment. His ideas and comments were sparked by the writing, an enormously satisfying state of affairs! They were also informed by his understanding of the state of publishing which is, I daresay, of equal importance. At all times Tom was generous and helpful, and his service was of great value.
'Syrenna Bloo', Speculative Fiction. 115,000 words. Assessment. (Sept 2007)
'Lizzimania' by Richard Wyatt. Speculative Utopian Romance Fiction. 90,500 words Assessment & Copy Edit (Flood Manuscripts - July and Aug 2006)
I've used manuscript assessors on four previous occasions, including an earlier one on the story I sent Tom, and the feedback I got from his report was far and away the most useful. I'd suggest that too many assessments focus on rearranging the deck chairs rather than which way the boat is headed. Tom is technical where necessary but he starts with an understanding of the book at the deepest level, alongside a realistic sense of what is marketable, and everything rolls out of that. Comments about characters and language and story structure thus relate to what you're trying to achieve and your chances of achieving it, and don't just float around like lost paragraphs from a 'how to write' book. Even if your book needs work and there are some hard truths in the assessment, the way he conveys things will entertain you. I believe they'll also help you.
'The Messenger', Terrorism Thriller Fiction. 94000 words Assessment (Driftwood - Aug 2006)
I was pleasantly impressed with the assessment of my novel. I have carefully weighed all the recommendations, which were detailed and comprehensive. I virtually agree with them all. My thanks to who so ever had the task of making sense of my ms.
'A Brief Mystery of Time', Young Adult Speculative Fiction in progress. 15000 words
'Duelling Brains', Sociology Self-help Manual in progress. 30000 words, by Greg Olson-Hyde. Mentorship. (Flood Manuscripts - June and July 2006, March 2007)
July: It just makes me happy and encouraged simply to talk to Tom.
June: I sent my beloved text off to Tom Flood with some trepidation - I needn't have worried. Tom was tough where required, and gave credit where due. The positive comments were uplifting and the toughness was very creative and constructive. I now feel much more empowered to continue writing my world changing tome. I am extremely pleased with Tom's concise assessment and encouraging manner.
'So You've Got Back Pain, Now Get A Life' by Dr Blair Neild. Self Help Non-fiction. 67000 words. Assessment (Flood Manuscripts, 2006
In May this year I sent a manuscript to you for assessment, it was about living with chronic pain. Thanks so much for your comments, I found them very constructive and useful. I have finally finished the last round of corrections (I hope) and am about to send it off to a friend for proof reading. Thanks again, you have really helped, not only my manuscript but also the way I write in general.
'Just His Luck' by Judy Fander. Biography. 45000 words Assessment (Driftwood - May 2006)
Extremely useful. Suggests 2 extra options for development and ways to improve existing work for self-publishing. The suggestions would substantially improve the work for self-publication.
'Heir to Greatness' Historical Fiction. 216000 words Assessment (Driftwood - May 2006)
The thorough and intelligent assessment my manuscript received was everything I could have hoped for; I would rate it as excellent.
'Stan' by Chris Harris. Realist Period Fiction. 297000 words Assessment (Flood Manuscripts - Mar 06)
Tom: May I say in general how very pleased I was with your report. To explain that remark: I can say, broadly that all your comments were so close to my own thinking that this almost astounded me. You have read the same story I wrote.
'The Beauty That Remains' Memoir Vol 2. Proof & Copy Edit (Flood Mss - Jun 2013)
'Tales From a Mountain City' by Quynh Dao. Memoir. 79,000 words. Assessment (Driftwood - Dec 2005)
Thank you. Your corrections are subtle but incisive, like skillful brushstrokes that give a painting just the right shade and the right feel. I appreciate the importance of the right word, the right placement of a comma...in a sentence. As I m your corrections.
Very helpful. I'm glad that all my shortcomings are pointed out to me in a caring, constructive way with understanding and sensitivity. I need this honesty and directness. Shortlisted Asher Literary Award 2011. Shortlisted William Saroyan International Prize for Literature 2012
'Turtle Dreaming' by Mike Roberts. Speculative/Mainstream Fiction Novella. 27000 words. Assessment (Manuscripts Online - Sept 05) Structural Edit & Proofing (Flood Manuscripts - Nov 05)LoR
Tom Flood read my manuscript, like no one else ever has. He said he liked it, well some parts anyway and he was brutally honest about its problems. He is brilliant with grammar, in my case, relentless with comma usage and conjunctions. His genius as an editor is his ability not to interfere, at all, with your work. Whilst working with Tom, who is generous to a fault with his time, I was reminded of James Joyce' description of the artist in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in that he "?like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above [your work] invisible, refined out of existence...". Tom helps you to communicate and present your work to its fullest advantage. He is inspiring and encouraging. If you use Tom Flood for Assessing, Proofing or Editing, your work will be immeasurably the better for it.
'Il Paradiso'. Contemporary Realist Fiction. 50,000 words. Third assessment (Driftwood - Nov 2005)
Got the report, no worries. People have doctored their reports in the past? Now there's determination for you. Seriously, that's head-shaking stuff. I'm really happy with this report, half the length of previous ones but twice as useful: the assessor sounds as if he/she enjoys what he/she is doing; clarity of comment - it's taken me umpteen readings to interpret previous assessments; eloquence of expression - I enjoyed simply reading it; constructively critical - doesn't pull punches but backs criticism with perceptive suggestions; encouraging with regard to strengths - this is so necessary but does need to be part and parcel of an 'unvarnished' appraisal. A very helpful assessment and this is the assessor I'd want to use for future manuscripts.
'Nightfall'. Speculative Fiction Assessment 57,000 words.(Flood Manuscripts - July 2007)
Pilo Family Circus by William Elliott. Speculative (Satirical Horror/Fantasy) Fiction Assessment (Driftwood Manuscripts - Oct 2005)
I recall on the brochures sent back with assessment reports that you like to hear of news of manuscripts that pass through Driftwood. You may or may not have heard what's become of mine, 'The Pilo Family Circus'. It's won the ABC fiction award and will be published in October. I want to thank you for such professional treatment of that work...the assessment was an important step for me to make that breakthrough.Sincerely, Will Elliott April 2006
UK,Sweden,Italy,USA -Quercus. Winner ABC Fiction Award 2006. Shortlisted International Horror Guild Award Best Novel USA 2006. Winner Golden Aurealis Award 2007. Joint winner Aurealis for Best Horror Novel 2007.SMH Best Young Novelist 2007. Best International Book, Nocte Awards 2011
'A Final Odyssey'. Travel Memoir/Life Stories. 127000 words. Assessment (Driftwood - June 2005)
Very, very useful. It has given me a great deal of confidence + enthusiasm to go on to a final draft - not to mention the useful suggestions. I appreciated the overall assessment in that the assessor had obviously read the manuscript carefully +, in spite of disliking the genre (travel + life experience) was still able to give me a positive + encouraging report. My curiosity plagues me! I would love to know more about the assessor! She (I think it was a she?) has a great sense of humanity which is always a help.
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