I am a part of something I have never done before! I am a stop on a blog tour! A dear friend of mine, Carlie M.A. Cullen is publishing her first book, Heart Search. I have a ‘badge’ for my blog and everything!
Carlie, along with Alison DeLuca, is my editor. She gently guides me through the terrible swamps and dead-end roads of writing, and was the lead editor on Forbidden Road, the soon-to-be published sequel to Tower of Bones.
Carlie’s personal style of writing is very different from mine. Her tale is thick with description and her characters are drawn from today’s urban society and set in the real world (if vampires existed). My tales are made with people who could exist, set in a world that may exist if Roger Zelazney was right (he said that if you can imagine a world, it probably exists).
Yet I believe it is the radical difference in our personal writing style which lends dimension to my work when she has her red pen in hand.
The way we work together is this: I send her the full ms in a form that is as perfect as I can make it. This is called making a manuscript ‘submission ready’. When I send it to her, I have been over and over it, looking for errors and inadvertent inconsistencies, and trying to make sure there are no contradictions in the spelling of made-up names, and capitalizations. Also, I have already done my best to make sure I have used ‘closed quotes’ for each instance of dialogue, and checked and double-checked my punctuation. When I send this in, it is as neat and ready to go as I can make it. I have corrected everything I can find, and can’t see where it needs improvement.
She cuts my completed ms into chapters, making sure I have not mis-numbered them (which has happened!) and sharpens her red pencil and her teeth! As she finishes each chapter she sends it back to me with her suggestions and comments in the right hand side. I return it to her with the corrections and we repeat the process.
Despite my best efforts in making it submission-ready, there will be instances of all sorts of manuscript-mayhem. It is my line-editor’s job to find these nuggets of no-no and guide me in eliminating them. Not only will she find the contradictions and punctuation errors, she will find the instances where a word has been used either in the wrong context or is simply awkward when used in that way. She will help me rephrase ungainly ideas in a better way, or even suggest I eliminate them as they may be redundant or not necessary.
She finds and points out the overuse of certain words, such as ‘that’ or ‘had’. These are words we habitually use in conversation and don’t realize how frequently we say them. When they are written and appear 6 or 7 times in one paragraph they leap out at the reader and are annoying. They are insidious to the author, because they fade into the background when the author is reading his own work. Thus it takes the eye of the editor to guide the writer through eliminating these ‘speed-bump words’ as I like to think of them.
She does this for me in as kind and gentle a way as is possible, while still getting the job done. She builds my self-confidence while tearing apart my cherished manuscript and reassembling it in a way which actually reads the way I always thought it did.
To go through the process of having your manuscript edited is a humbling thing. I don’t know how a person can produce a decent book with no outside input to shine a little light in the cluttered closets full of prose that will pop up in every manuscript. A completed, submission-ready manuscript is Chaos Theory realized. It is only through the objective eye of the editor that our book is made readable.
Now, I am sure you know Carlie, too, has an editor. Her editor is the wonderful Maria V. A. Johnson, and Maria does for Carlie what Carlie does for me. Maria is an awesome editor and Carlie is fortunate to have her to guide her through the process.
It all comes full circle.
I also work as an editor. I’ve been privileged to work with such wonderful and diverse authors as Ross M. Kitson and Shaun Allan. My role as an editor is to do for them what Carlie does for me; in essence I smooth out the rough spots and let their wonderful work shine with their voices telling their tales in their own way.
I love editing as much as I love writing. To be an intimate part of another author’s dream is an experience I treasure. To have had the experience of being edited was exhilarating. To see my editor’s own book finally released is nothing short of awesome – I can’t wait to read it!
One bite starts it all . . .
When Joshua Grant vanishes days before his
wedding his fiancée Remy is left with only bruises, scratch marks and a hastily
written note. Heartbroken, she sets off alone to find him and begins a long
journey where strange things begin to happen.
As Joshua descends into his
new immortal life he indulges his thirst for blood and explores his superhuman
strength and amazing new talents while becoming embroiled in coven politics
which threaten to destroy him. But Remy discovers a strength of her own on her
quest to bring Joshua home.
Fate toys with mortals and immortals alike,
as two hearts torn apart by darkness face ordeals which test them to their