I don’t normally dedicate a whole post to a book I’ve edited … but I’ve made an exception for this one.

I’m so proud to have edited this book for Willy de Wit, one of the most prominent names in New Zealand comedy and a man who has faced addiction, despair, depression, and a brush with death.

It was so very hard to get just right: to ensure that punchlines normally delivered in a smoky venue or on television landed on the page; to walk that fine line between hilarity and offence; to know what to cut for the sake of readability and what to leave in for the sake of truth and imperfect perfection; to polish and sculpt without losing Willy’s unique voice.

It’s one of the editing/proofreading jobs I’m most proud of, and I’m so delighted this hilarious, mad, moving book is getting rave reviews.

This book is one of the reasons I love being an editor as well as a writer. I can help great people write great books that will entertain, challenge, move, and encourage important conversations.

Here’s an extract from Ruth Spencer’s review on Kete Books NZ:

‘The anecdotes are told so deftly that you don’t notice the craft underneath – a skill honed during years on stage and in writers’ huddles, years of getting the gag just right. Just when you think the story has amused you all it can, there’s an absolute gift of a punchline. You’ll laugh out loud, or you might cry…

‘…It’s tragic that de Wit suffered the stroke, not to mention the despair and addiction that went before it and the suffering that came after. The silver lining is this book which would not otherwise exist: in turns beautiful, nostalgic, crass, hilarious and important.’

You can read the whole review here.

Drink, Smoke, Snort, Stroke nearly killed me, it was so tricky to edit. I bet Willy sees the irony in that, given his stroke nearly killed him…

(It’s OK, folks, he’d laugh out loud at that.)


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