You’re going to hear more and more stories about well-established authors moving into the ebook world, but at this moment in time, it’s an emerging shift that’s worth watching. This is particularly true for writers who haven’t decided to take the plunge yet.

With that in mind, J.A. Konrath recently conducted an online interview with David Morrell about Morrell’s move to the Kindle. In response to a question about why there are two versions of The Totem, Morrell says, “In the late 1970s, when I submitted a 550 page version of THE TOTEM, my editor wanted to know why there wasn’t a love interest and why there were so many characters and … Let’s just say the editor didn‘t get what I was doing.

The Totem is my attempt to redefine the werewolf myth, using science as the explanation, instead of superstition. It’s set in a town in an isolated valley in Wyoming, and one reason for the novel’s length is that I wanted to characterize the valley, to create a substantial sense of place.

“In those days, I had not yet been fortunate enough to have a New York Times bestseller, which meant that I could either agree to the cuts or hit the road. Reluctantly, I agreed to the cuts, reducing the scale, emphasizing the town rather than the valley. That version was substantially shorter, almost by half. It had a very different beginning and climax.

“I also changed the style, giving the revised text a subtle rhythm, which was my attempt to try to control the reader’s heartbeat. Even in the short version, the book received great reviews and was cited as one of the 100 most frightening horror novels. In 1994, I finally had a chance to publish the original 550-page version. That became the US version while the short version was the UK version.

“Now both versions are available in one package as a single Kindle e-book. It’s another way to explore the possibilities of the format. In a printed book, the cover price of combining both versions would have been huge. But here I can add as much material as I want without any extra cost to the reader.”

Check out the interview in its entirety. It’ll be well worth your time: David Morrell on Ebooks

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