August 18, 2016
Those of you who are writers know what it’s like to turn in a book and then wait, sometimes endlessly, for revisions from your editor. For those of you who are readers, here’s a peek behind the scenes. It is impossible for writers to be objective about their own books, which is why we desperately need sharp-eyed editors. Over the years, I’ve written ten books and had nine editors, some good and some, ahem, not so good.
The first book I sold, Castle Ladyslipper, was to a press I later discovered was on the warning list for Predators and Editors. Totally my fault. The owner/publisher/editor proceeded to remove all of my chapter headings and re-arrange them in a system that made absolutely no sense. Upon my objection, she returned them to their original order. My second book, The Rock and Roll Queen of Bedlam, was picked up by a different publisher and sold quite well. Readers wanted a sequel. I wrote a synopsis and three chapters and followed instructions to submit to my editor. She turned it down siting the following reasons: cozies weren’t selling well and the company decided to focus on horror. #1. The R&R Queen is not a cozy. #2. Doesn’t look like that horror thing is working out for them. But, as we know, rejection is part of the game and we soldier on.
Flash forward to my young adult series. I wrote six books for Bell Bridge Books and had a wonderful editing experience throughout. The best editor, by far, was Pat Van Wie who now free lances. She worked with me to make my books shine. I will always be grateful to her.
Since leaving BBB, I’m back to writing adult romantic suspense. My first book in the Soul Seeker series, Affliction, came out earlier this year. When I received the edits, I scrolled through the document. The only editing advice was to remove the word that from each page. She also reversed the words it’s and its throughout the entire document. Not wanting to come across as a know-it-all, I tried to tactfully explain, “it’s” is a contraction for “it is.” She said, “Oh, you’re right,” and changed them back. Apparently someone ratted her out (not me) because she is no longer with the company.
I just finished revisions for Allegiance, the sequel to Affliction and the editor, Fran, was a joy to work with. She included helpful suggestions and was more than willing to listen if I didn’t agree with her. Hopefully, the book will be better with her help.
Fellow writers, any experiences with editors you’d like to share?