October 1999, ROMANTIC TIMES
Rewriting is a task most authors hate. Its that least-fun stage of creating a book that comes just before it gets shipped off to the publisheror sometimes afterwhere the author has to take a look at the words shes sweated blood over and accept that it could possibly be done better.
So, its no surprise that most writers, if faced with the idea of rewriting their most beloved classic, would quickly and resoundingly say no. But Judith McNaught welcomed the challenge.
As her publishing house made plans to issue her classic WHITNEY, MY LOVE in hardcover for the first time, Judith decided she wanted to change some of the things with which shed originally been dissatisfied. I always thought it ended rather abruptly. I never wanted to do a sequel but I wanted to take the time and really have some fun with the couple, she explains.
Their romance was like a long roller-coaster ride. Now the readers can get a chance to find out what happens when they get off the ride.
True to her word, Judith added 40-plus pages to the ending, changed and enhanced two additional scenes elsewhere, which she doesnt want to divulge just yet (its more fun to keep it a secret) and tweaked some other passages. One immediate change readers will note, is that an ink drawing of Clayton Westmorelands estate as it looks to Whitney when she first arrives there graces the first two pages after the cover. I commissioned an architect to draw it and its simply breathtaking. Really, its worth the price of admission by itself.
Also, in the revamped version, readers will get a more in-depth look at whats going on with Stephen Westmoreland, a secondary character in WHITNEY and the hero of Until You. Stephen was tough. He was the ultimate nice guy [in the original Whitney] and I had to change him slightly [for Until], so hed be more compelling as a hero. In the rewritten version, you get a closer, more telling look at him.
Another alteration is that the novel will now have a Judith trademark, the signature epilogue which ties back to the books title. Judith has long been lauded for her epilogues, ever since she started writing them with Something Wonderful in 1988. She says she was happy to add an epilogue to Whitney and that in her opinion its one of the prettiest shes ever written.
Was she worried about tampering with such a well-loved classic? I was worried about it although no one else seemed to be. My editor, Linda Marrow, was thrilled. My hands got a little shaky when I sat down to read over Whitney. Butyears of experience told me that I was doing the right thing.
WHITNEY will also have a new cover similar to that of Judiths Night Whispers (last years romantic suspense novel whose August paperback release rose to No. 1 on the New York Times Bestsellers list the week of July 18, 1999, beating out Stephen Kings Bag of Bones). To celebrate finishing the reworked Whitney, Judith headed to Las Vegas with some friends. As soon as I finish a book, I hop a plane to somewhere fun. Im not really a slots person, I like to play a little of everything. I seldom win anything substantial but I must be a good-luck charm, because
several of my friends have won when Ive been with them.
The trip served as a little respite from her next novel, WATERS EDGE a time-travel romantic suspense that thrusts Broadway actress Leigh Kendall back to medieval times, where she must solve her own murder. In true Judith fashion, the romantic elements hold plenty of sparks. Here you have this ultimate in sophisticated womenshes known the very best of lifewho wakes up married to this intolerable warlord. And he hates her.
Judith first conceived WATERS EDGE back in 1989 after finishing A Kingdom of Dreams but postponed it to write Almost Heaven. Its really very edge-of-your-seat suspense. Jennifer and Royce Westmoreland from Kingdom show up, along with some other secondary characters that didnt warrant a book of their own.
One of Judiths favorite characters, Nicholas DuVille from 1994s short story Miracles, may also find his way into a full-length hardcover. As I was writing it, I realized Nicki was perfect hero foddersmart, cynical and sexy. It really should have been a book, but I had to let it go because I didnt have the time to plan a whole complex story around it. But
he may be revisited.
And he may not be the only one.
Revamping WHITNEY has gotten Judith in the mood to look at some of her other classics. Once and Always begs for more ending. Judith hints that the heroines younger sister Dorothy, whom many readers have begged her to write more about, would find her own happy ending in an extended conclusion to Once and Always. She laughs merrily, The challenge now is to stop me from doing it to all of them.
Copyright: Romantic Times