I can hardly believe this as I write it, but last week marked the fifth anniversary of the publication of Her Dear & Loving Husband. As of this writing, more than 200,000 copies of Her Dear & Loving Husband have been bought or downloaded (mostly downloaded since the novel has been perma-free most of its life). Thanks to some Very Nice People at wattpad.com, Her Dear & Loving Husband was recently added to their Featured List in Vampire Fiction. Prior to being added to the Featured List, HDLH had about 5,000 reads, which by itself is not too shabby. In the past three weeks, 21,5000 new readers have found James and Sarah’s story of eternal love, making a total of 26,500 readers on Wattpad, and that number is growing every day. It makes my heart glad to know that James and Sarah are finding new fans even after five years.
I’ve just finished revisiting HDLH as a way to celebrate the story’s anniversary. As funny as this might sound, I had forgotten how much I love James and Sarah. While I reread Her Dear & Loving Husband, I made a few editing changes, but not as many as I would have expected. I wouldn’t say my writing has changed drastically in the past five years, but there are a few things I’ve improved along the way. I’ve never been a fan of dialogue tags, and I’ve always tried to use them as little as possible. I think it’s more effective to set up the conversations so the reader can follow without having to point out who’s talking. I’m planning a series of posts about writing dialogue for May, but for now I’ll say the fewer dialogue tags the better. Even though I didn’t use a lot of dialogue tags in the earlier version of HDLH, I used them more than I do now so I deleted a number of he saids and she saids. I tightened up a few sentences because I’ve become better at adhering to my “no extra words” rule. I think even James and Sarah superfans will have a hard time spotting the changes, but I felt like, well, I’m rereading the book anyway, I might as well make whatever edits I think are necessary.
Happy fifth anniversary, James and Sarah Wentworth.