Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Editors - who needs 'em anyway...(I do!)

Edits are finished! Whew! This was a particularly stressful, intense time for me. I have never been so happy to wrap up a book as I was "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" and here's why.

You see, I was assigned a new editor with this book. I thought I recognized her name when she sent her introductory letter. Then it hit me. Right between the eyes. I know who this is! I opened up my computer and went to Goodreads and sure 'nuff, there it was: Her Name - with a 3 (out of 5) star rating.

Great. My new 'boss' thinks I am mediocre at best. Ugh. I stewed. I pouted. And I stewed some more.

Sure enough, when it came time for my first edits she was tough. There were things in the manuscript she insisted I take out. There were things that 'bored her to tears' and 'spaces missing' in parts of the storyline. Did I mention she was tough?

One thing I am not is a prima donna. You just can't be one in this business. For every two people that think you're talented there's three more that think you stink.

I know the importance of an editor.

So, I took a few days to just re-read my own story. Then I opened up my laptop, and because I'm not a prima donna I made every single change. I added parts and took away some - some that I really, really liked. One day before deadline I sent it back to her - and waited.

Fourteen days later I got it back. ''Looks good but I think you can do better. You have three weeks."

And I didn't take one day less than that. Three weeks of being homebound, dishes piling up, wearing my cleanest dirty shirt, and my poor family existing on pb&j and pizza. After making my last change, I pushed 'send'. Then I sat down and had a good cry.

Am I complaining? No. Okay, maybe a little, but I knew this editor would challenge me. I knew that she wouldn't quit until this book was as good as it could possibly be. Which is exactly what I owe you, dear reader.

 Reading is a treat for me. When I get the opportunity to actually devour a book rather than write one I go to the book store and go hog wild! Lately I have been so disappointed in my favorite author. The last couple of novels have been awful. I feel like she does the least amount she has to do just so she can get a book out every year. All I could think is, 'where the heck is her editor?'

That is such a disservice! If you are willing to spend money on our books then you deserve the best we can give you!

I have an acquaintance - a gentleman - that is absolutely brilliant. I am talking genius, here! He has several doctorates, well-spoken and an expert on several different subjects. He told me that he'd written a book and had publishers interested but he was afraid to proceed to the next level because, and I quote, "I am just afraid of some editor picking it apart." What?? This is a man whom people pay for advice, they listen with pens poised to document his every word, but yet he's afraid some lowly little editor is going to step on his ego. Sorry, I can not relate.

Writing is my passion, it's my life; it's who I am. And it's not for sissies. You have to be 'man enough' to accept the fact that you are not 'as good' as you think you are. I know I'm not. I need my editor.

And if we have done our job - my editor and I - and I think we have - then I think you will enjoy this novel.  It's good, clean, fun with characters you will fall in love with. I will leave you with the words of one of my endorsers. I believe he's summed it up best.

"The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" is a combination of "Fried Green Tomatoes" meets "Steel Magnolias" and "Mayberry RFD" with a bit of "My Name is Earl" sprinkled on top."

Wow, I'm not worthy! But I can't help but hope you think I am.

Til next time,



MouthyBarberMom said...

I absolutely can not wait to read it!!

Renee said...

SO proud of you and can't wait to read this particular book! Will be nice to try and guess who all the characters are but good to have something a bit 'Mayberry' to read. Too many trashy things out there these days. I am SO GLAD you posted this! Hope my skin is thick enough when the time comes but until then, I'll take every bit of this to heart and add it to the other notes you've given me. Yes, I've saved them and they're in the cool Ed Hardy messenger bag I use for all my writing stuff. Tablets, index cards, pens, flash drive, voice recorder. You inspire me Kathie!!!

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