P.A. Laver

Cutting Words [P.A Laver]

A war of words…

Assistant editor Annie McGuire has just been given the assignment of a lifetime.

Her boss, the Senior Editor of fiction at McMahon Martin Publishing no less, has chosen Annie to edit one-time, blockbuster author James Raymond’s new book.

This is the chance Annie has been waiting for and she’s desperate to prove her worth as a serious editor.

It’s time to make the leap to senior editor, after all if she doesn’t someone else surely will.

With her qualifications and experience, nothing could go wrong… right?


It turns out Annie is totally oblivious to the details and politics of how the motorbike riding, egomaniac author was enticed away from his old publisher.

When two ambitious chief editors of opposing New York publishing houses go to war, there is bound to be collateral.

But will Annie’s career take the full force of the damage?

With rumours swirling that Raymond’s new manuscript is a flop and his own agent publically voicing his concern at every opportunity, does Annie have any hope of turning this around?

Or is Annie’s own story destined to come to a tragic end…?

Set in the cut throat world of publishing, Cutting Words is a heartfelt tale about never giving up on your dreams.

My thoughts on the novel: Have you ever wondered what it is really like working in a publishing house? Having the opportunity to read and edit masterpieces while helping to bring new talents into the limelight sounds like a dream job for any booklover! Well, the reality may be quite different and Cutting Words gives an interesting take on this business where it’s not always about the arts.

Best-selling author James Raymond embodies the “villain”. The success of his previous book clearly went to his head and he’s coming across as rude and full of himself. His total lack of respect for people like assistant editor Annie is appalling. He believes his work is so good that it’s disrespectful to him to let it be reviewed by a mere assistant editor. After all, it can only require a few punctuation tweaks… at best ! So, how would a newbie like Annie know any better and dare to add a cascade of colourful tags everywhere there’s an issue? From reworking the structure to making sure that the timeline and the twists are taking place at the right time and in a credible manner, Annie spent a tremendous amount of time and energy dissecting the novel.

These initial chapters really managed to describe how editing really happens. I thought it was a major highlight of the novel, giving the reader a new perspective on the art of “making” books worthy of being published.

The confrontation scene was very vivid and heartbreaking because of Raymond’s condescending attitude. You end up feeling really bad for Annie because you’ve just read about how much work and dedication it took her to review a really poorly written novel. The impact of this key scene will last till the very last chapter where both characters are finally reunited. Will they bury the hatchet? Will Annie get back her self-confidence?

You could think that James’ narcissistic attitude is too pronounced at times, but somehow, the author makes it credible, even offering an interesting ending showing that James’ personality isn’t so black and white. His psychological profile is well written, especially in the final chapters where the readers finally understands why he behaves the way he does.

I was simply annoyed by a formatting issue with the Kindle version. Throughout the novel, a lot of words were glued together, which was quite irritating.

Cutting Words is a pleasant, entertaining novel that will give the reader a new appreciation of the important role of editors and their “professional” eye. But, it’s also quite eye-opening regarding the politics and arrangments happening in the cruel, harsh little world of publishing. Who knew?

My score: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


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