Nick Bones

‘Nick Bones’ is a Best Debut Novel Finalist

It was great fun being developmental editor on Phil Cohen’s darkly humorous Jewish-themed apocalypse story.

Nick Bones

I’m proud to have served as developmental editor for Phil M. Cohen’s book, Nick Bones Underground, which was a 2019 Jewish Book Council finalist for Best Debut Novel.

A publisher asked me to take a look at Phil’s manuscript and work with him to try to improve it. It was a great match because it involved a mix of Judaism, humor, science and sci-fi … all subjects I enjoy writing about! Phil and I had a lot of fun playing around the the characters, dialogue, and some of the plot points. He did not take all of my suggestions, but it was a great give-and-take between author and editor.

To give you an idea of what the book’s about, here’s a blurb I wrote on it:

Phil Cohen’s Nick Bones character isn’t your father’s nebbishy Jewish protagonist. He can rough up a suspect as well as the next gentile private eye. But, with the Jewish wit of a Michael Chabon or Jonathan Safran Foer and a dash of absurd sci-fi in the tradition of Douglas Adams, Cohen creates a dystopian future of uncooperative machines, a messianic Jewish cult and the quest for control over a powerful new drug. Through it all is Nick Bones, a private eye on a quest to make sense of this bizarre near-future where things go sideways both above and under the ground. Nick Bones underground has sex, drugs, and even cameos from a rock ‘n’ roll legend. So, what’s not to love?

Howard Lovy’s editorial skills vastly improved my speculative novel, Nick Bones Underground.  I saw those skills at work in at least three important ways.

Phil enjoyed working with me, too, and we’re even beginning to map out a sequel. Here’s a testimonial from the author on what it’s like to work for me!

Howard Lovy’s editorial skills vastly improved my speculative novel, Nick Bones Underground.  I saw those skills at work in at least three important ways.

    1. As one would expect from any good editor, he proffered numerous wise suggestions regarding the tone, the language—including dialogue– the flow, and the structure of the text.
    2. With his background in science he helped make aspects of my novel more reasonable.
    3. He served as a cheerleader, offering advice about seeking a publisher–or pointing out the possibility of self-publishing–all the while affirming his faith in the project. He was the first reader to suggest both the possibility and the advisability of writing a sequel, something I hadn’t previously considered, something I am well into as I write these words.

Nick Bones Underground was published by Koehler Books on November 30.  In January I learned that the Jewish Book Council had given my novel a Finalist award in the category of Debut Novel. This almost certainly wouldn’t have happened without Howard’s labors.

In my role as multimedia manager and podcaster at the Alliance of Independent Authors, I was happy to have interviewed Phil on my podcast. Listen below if you’ve got about 10 minutes to spare.

Contact me if you’d like to talk about how I can help you with your book