I’m up late tonight, because I’m in the middle of revisions for my upcoming Tule novella, THE BILLIONAIRE’S SECRET. It’s part of a really exciting new series, HOT AMALFI NIGHTS, which kicks off today with Katherine Garbera’s hot and fabulous novella, THE BILLIONAIRE’S TEMPTATION. Go check it out…you won’t regret it! J
My book won’t be available until September 14th, and I’m glad, because I want that time to polish the story. Believe it or not, I really love doing revisions. When I write the first draft of a book, I’m always stressed and anxious. Is my planned plot going to work? Are the people likeable? Will the story be long enough, short enough, correctly paced, satisfying in its happily-ever-after?
Then, when I reach The End, I turn the manuscript over to the editor and take a step back. Over the next few days or weeks, depending on the schedule, I work on another project, or refill my creative well by doing the non-writing things I love, while the editor does the thinking.
By the time she returns the manuscript to me with her comments and suggestions, I’m feeling renewed, and far less frazzled, because now it’s not just me sitting here worrying myself to death. Now I’m part of a team, and for all of us the only goal is to make my book as good as it can be.
I’ve written about forty-five books, over many years, and every single editor I’ve been lucky enough to work with, both at Harlequin and at Tule, has been fantastic. These professionals have, every one, been warm, sensitive, brilliantly analytical and wholeheartedly in my corner.
People often ask me whether it’s hard to be edited. One friend even wondered whether it might “hurt.” I understand the question, but the answer is unequivocally NO.
Sure, it can be disappointing to roll up your sleeves and go back to work when you would have liked to binge-watch Downton Abbey instead. And occasionally it’s embarrassing, sometimes, if I have to face that I’ve missed the mark, that something I imagined would be funny simply wasn’t, or that something I hoped would be sexy was actually kind of blah.
But it never hurts.
How could it? We’re all on the same team, remember, all shooting for the same goal. And knowing the editor is there to catch me if I fall gives me the confidence and freedom to try those high-wire tricks I might not dare alone.
The truth is, no writer can ever possibly tell how her words will come across to someone else. I know what I meant to communicate. But did I? Only a fresh pair of eyes can tell me what actually came across to the reader. And only a seasoned professional editor can tell me how to bridge that gap, how to flesh out the conflict or pick up the pace, how to build sympathy for my hero or recover those little plot points I misplaced along the way.
So as I return to polishing THE BILLIONAIRE’S SECRET, a big, sloppy thank you kiss goes out to my editors for helping me be the best writer I can be. And a big thank you to my readers, too. Because you’re the goal we’re shooting for. If you like it, we all win!
I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one randomly chosen poster today, so I hope you’ll stop by and tell me how you feel about getting feedback and notes on your work. Do you love it? Hate it? What makes the difference for you?