Last month, I made the decision to re-edit and re-release my debut novel His Name Was Zach, two and a half years after its initial release. This weekend I finally finished it and the updated version is now available on Amazon Kindle!
I chose to do this because, as it is with any craft, I got better at writing as time went on. After I’d finished Her Name Was Abby and especially after the series finale Their Names Were Many, I realized that my writing had significantly improved.
This isn’t to say His Name Was Zach was bad. Here my pride interjects to remind you that several people thoroughly enjoyed it and left amazing reviews. But it was definitely rough when compared to its sequels and I finally decided to give it the polishing it deserved.
Nothing major changed. I broke it up into more chapters (from twenty-eight chapter to forty-something), trimmed some fat (128k words to 117k), cleaned up the dialogue, and fixed some minor editing issues (apparently when a character’s dialogue continues unbroken into a new paragraph, you don’t close the first paragraph with “, and I didn’t know that). Basically streamlining the whole thing and making it a more comfortable read.
I did, however, keep a few passages that some found ‘outdated’. I break the fourth wall once and speak directly to the reader, for example, and I also shift the POV into the head of a Northern Cardinal for half a page.
Are they the most modern, accepted writing trends? Not at all! But they are nods to some influencing books from my adolescence and are important parts of my growth as a reader and writer. The scene with the cardinal is inspired by the lone fox in Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, who finds it odd that four hobbits are out and about so late at night and correctly believes something strange is going on. Breaking the fourth wall is an homage to the writing style of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
So if you haven’t read His Name Was Zach yet, there’s never been a better chance! It’s only $1.99 on Kindle and comes highly recommended by reviewers! If you’ve already read it and are merely curious, you can click that Look Inside option on the Amazon page and check out the first couple chapters. I think you’d notice an improvement right away!