Posts Tagged ‘Operation Series’

Tate Publishing in the US has just finished the cover design of book 4 in the Operation Series, Operation Tango Two-Two. What do you think?

1.1 MB cover photo


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NaNoWriMo is over, thank goodness! Did I enjoy it? No. Do I regret doing it? No. Will I do it again? No. At least I don’t think I will :)

Winner-120x240I always wondered what it would be like to be a part of National November Writer’s Month, and now I know. This year instead of sitting back and reading everyone’s up-and-down stress and triumph stories, I decided it was time to try it out. I launched in with much enthusiasm and at about the half way mark, desperation kicked in. That’s when my writing went from readable to rubbish. By the end on NaNoWriMo, I hated the way I was writing. It made me feel terrible that I was churning out such rubbish just to make a word count target. 

The good thing about this last month, was that I wrote a number of scenes that belong in future books. The total word count for each of my YA fiction books is about 36,000. So I knew when I started the project that I would have a chance to start on some other ideas that have been tucked away for future use. This was a good way of making sure I reached my 50,000 word count for the month of November. So, God willing, I will have another two books in the Operation series in the coming years.

So, thank you NaNoWriMo for the experience.


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My US publisher has sent through the cover design for the second book in the Operation series. It is very similar to the Australian design. I love the colour! I’m not sure when this will be printed, as we haven’t done the final edits yet.

My previous Tate editor, Megan, who was so patient with me, (I learned so much from her), has moved interstate after getting married. She was the editor for Operation Foxtrot Five, Operation Delta Bravo and my picture book, It Doesn’t Matter. She was such a pleasure to work with, and I already miss her. Thank you for all your hard work, Megan.

My previous cover designer (Shawn) for the Operation series was promoted within the company, so I’m now working with Josh. He’s done a great job keeping the cover in the same style as Foxtrot. Thank you, Shawn and Josh.

From the book:

Andrew silently dropped a handful of cut up negatives onto the viewing bench. “It could be something perfectly innocent”.

Scott moved the pieces around with one finger. “Innocent people don’t cut up negatives.”


(c) DJ Stutley 2012

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Guest Blogger:

Let me introduce myself – my name is Detective Sergeant Scott Backer, and I’m the lead character in the Operation Series of  YA crime fiction thrillers by DJ Stutley. She’s been working on Operation Romeo Sierra since 2003… Will someone please tell her to get busy and get this case solved! I’ve been languishing in the depths of DJ’s computer for so long, that after 4 successful books, I feared she was not going to be able to continue our successful association.

Let me tell you where she went so wrong.

DJ was one of those writers who never made notes. The whole story unfolded in her mind as she wrote. When she began typing, with just the smallest spark of an idea, the story unfolded page by page. Even she had no idea what was going to happen in the next chapter. Don’t ask me how she did this, but she actually wrote the first 4 books in the Operation Series this way. Not one note on a scrap of paper anywhere!

Then in 2003, along came a real villain, who attacked her with a baseball bat because he wanted her car. Her injuries were significant – recovery was long and slow. By the time she sat down to work on Operation Romeo Sierra, the storyline had gone from her head. It was like she was reading it for the first time. She agonised over it for hundreds of hours, followed advice from numerous other authors and friends, before finally facing the awful possibility that she may never write again.

Fortunately her good friend and fellow author, Simon Higgins, suggested that she put Romeo away and write something new. So in typical DJ style, she had an idea, and started typing. This time she had a notepad beside her and jotted down any ideas that could be used in the story. To her surprise, she discovered that she was actually plotting! For the first time, she could see ahead, make notes and fill in the details. 6 weeks later, the first draft of Operation Uniform Echo was finished. 2 weeks later she sent it off to her writing mentor, Marg McAllister, who sent her an email saying ‘… you’re back!’

During the past 18months, DJ has been able to pick up the threads of Operation Romeo Sierra again and has managed to write 10 chapters. And I am excited to see how the case is looking :) She keeps telling everyone that Romeo will be finished by the end of the year. So come on, DJ – get busy! you’ve still got 5 chapters to go and  hours of editing and proofreading ahead of you, and half the year has gone.

Lesson to all you writers out there: take notes, notes and more notes. Don’t leave ideas in your head where they can be traumatised away, never to be thought of again.

Scott Backer (& DJ)

(c) DJ Stutley 2012

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