Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Slow down, I'm getting dizzy!

It’s a very exciting time for me, on a number of fronts. As I mentioned in a previous post, Samhain Publishing graciously offered me a second contract and a tentatively early release date. I won’t say what that date is, because it can still change, but I really, really appreciate the faith they’re showing in my work, and the professional way they conduct business.

Knowing that they hope to slot me into the release line-up fairly quickly, they promptly sent me all the paperwork necessary to get the ball rolling. That included the first edits, which I just as promptly did and returned. Hey, if my editor, Laurie, is willing to make the effort, how much more willing should I be?

Working with Laurie has been great. Having never had more than magazine and trade articles published, I was dreading edits on my first novella. Magazine edits can be brutal. There is a finite amount of space magazine editors have to work with. Even when they give you a word count, and you stick to it, the piece can still be cut to accommodate photos or side bars. I like logic in my writing—point A leads to Point B, which leads to Point C, and so on. When my editor cut chunks out of my pieces, it also cut the thread of the story in places; and left me feeling it was no longer really my work.

Not so with Night of the Cereus. Laurie sent the manuscript to me with her comments and suggestions, and asked that I accept or reject them. If I wanted to reject them, she asked that I let her know why. That wasn’t the end of it. Instead, that was the beginning of the dialogue. There’s something so satisfying about being able to give an opinion and find out it’s been listened to and even if it isn’t taken on board, you’ve been told why.

I also appreciated Laurie not trying to put words in my mouth, so to speak. If she felt there was something missing, she would say so, perhaps even going so far as to explain what she wanted, but I was given the option as to how to fix it. I can’t speak to how other editors work, but to me this is ideal. I don’t know how I would like getting a manuscript back with new sentences stuck in, instead being asked to make the change. Everyone has a distinctive voice and even one sentence in someone else’s could conceivably stand out like a hooker in a monastery.

So, my second release is in the works, and I have a few more projects on the go. Life is one big rollercoaster at the moment, but at least this is a long weekend. Hopefully that will allow me a nice whack of writing time. So many stories, so little time! Happy Easter all, and Journey On!

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