First of all, I’m pleased to announce that my first novel, The Draculata Nest, is featured in First 5 Chapters, Volume 4. First 5 Chapters is a wonderful concept, wherein the first five chapters from six novels of a particular genre by promising new authors (that’s me!) are put together into a single work. For nothing, or next to nothing, you can download the ebook, preview the novels, and decide if they are worth reading. Right now it’s available on Lulu. Follow the link…First 5 Chapters, Volume 4 , and on Amazon... First 5 Chapters on Amazon Soon it will be available on Barnes & Noble, as well.
So, enough of that. Let’s get down to the subject of this week’s blog, my editing team. Editing of the first draft of The Dragon of Doughton Park is in full swing, and while my friends pour over the approximately 110k words I gave them, it only seems fair that I pay homage these three dedicated individuals.
First on the list is Caren, my ex-wife. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. I must have huge cojones to trust an “ex” with such a task. Well, I do. But Caren is one of the most intelligent and discerning individuals I know. Plus she has the willingness (and years of practice) to point out the defects in everything I say or do. She also has a vested interest in the success of my books. I pay child support based on my income. Hope springs eternal, does it not?
The second member of the team is Patti. Patti is one of my favorite people. We worked in the same office together for a dozen or so years, and her unique personality always brought a little patch of sunshine into a generally dreary landscape. (Typical exchange with Patti: Me: Your hair looks nice today. Patti: So you’re saying it usually looks like shit.) Patti was a project manager who's job it was to keep me on the right track. She got used to doling out both encouragement and criticism. (Nice job, John. Here’s a list of things you forgot to do.) So, when I gave her a draft of DN, and she called me a few days later to say she liked it (Nice job, John), I wasn’t entirely surprised some time later when she offered to email me the notes file from her Kindle (Here’s a list of mistakes you made.) I’m so happy to have her on board for the second book.
The final member of my team is my know-it-all-friend-David. You know the type, expert on everything. Irritating, right? Thing is, I’ve been friends with David for about fifteen years now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that… he really does know a lot of stuff. And once in a blue moon, when you run across something he doesn’t know, he will obsessively track down the answer. I do a lot of my research through him. It also turns out that David knows a good bit about editing. His contribution to the editing team, and it is a huge one, is to read through the draft and point out anything that might slow the reader. That includes typos, odd paragraph breaks, awkward phrasing… anything. I got the first four chapters of Doughton back from him a few days ago, covered in red marks and scathing comments in the margins. After I made all his suggested changes, I had to admit it was better. Wow.
So that’s my team. Quirky, obsessive and brutal. Who could ask for anything more?