Question: My first book without much decorative description will be somewhere around 250K words. Do you think is this too long/ambitious to be considered as a début novel? And secondly, I'd like to include more description but this may well push it beyond 300k words. As the story is (in my humble opinion at least!) very good and fast paced, do you find descriptions tend to slow down how the reader appreciates the work?
Answer: My rule of thumb is that a story is its own length. That said, a 250,000 word story from a new writer is possibly ambitious, but if it needs to be that length so be it. If you find an editor who is prepared to take you on, then they'll be the best person to advise on what additions or edits will be needed.