From the Blog

The Editing Process: Or, The Pain of Self Discovery

Hey Geek Army.

I’ve had an inter­est­ing cou­ple of months. Late Octo­ber brought my first round of edits for ANGEL KIN. If you’ve never expe­ri­enced the joy (kinda like inhal­ing a hair­ball) of read­ing through an editor’s revi­sion let­ter (I rec­om­mend you first put the sharp objects out of reach), then you may not appre­ci­ate what fix­ing a man­u­script within two weeks feels like.

Then repeat­ing the process for the sec­ond round. And pos­si­bly a third, qual­ity assur­ance round. Of course, I’m more than happy to walk you through it.

1. The edi­to­r­ial let­ter arrives and con­tains sug­ges­tions and feed­back from your edi­tor to make your man­u­script stronger. My ini­tial reac­tion was nat­ural. I zoomed through the let­ter, read all the feed­back, and then my brain kinda blew up with ideas for fixes. Two weeks? Pfft. No problem.


2. Remem­ber, two weeks is the norm in pub­lish­ing for an author to make the first round edits then return the man­u­script to her edi­tor. That was my expe­ri­ence, but I’d never received such a thor­ough edit­ing let­ter. I also sort of had my wed­ding anniver­sary com­ing up. Oh, and my son’s birth­day. Did I men­tion how I caught a cold and lost part of an entire week? Yeah, holy crap. At some point my con­fi­dence turned, um, manic.


3. The manic episode led to emails — and phone calls — to peo­ple I trusted to keep me focused. I wasn’t sure where to start, what to change first, how much to cut, etc. The edi­to­r­ial let­ter mor­phed into a let­ter of doom. This was my first project with my new pub­lisher and I panicked.


Let me be clear. No one put the pres­sure on me. I did that all by myself. I’m a per­fec­tion­ist, left brained, con­trol freak nerd queen. If I turn in work, I am giv­ing the best I could at the time. Edits will hap­pen, and I knew that. Logic blows when you’re the one with a clock tick­ing away in your head and you’re get­ting by on a Thera-Flu drip.


4. Ahem. Yes, I allowed my fears and inse­cu­ri­ties to kick me in my girly place. I stum­bled through the first round of edits, missed the orig­i­nal dead­line by three days (don’t. my writer’s soul bleeds for those lost hours). I returned the man­u­script to my agent and the edi­tors. The expe­ri­ence taught me one major les­son — the edit­ing process is no joke.


5. So…the sec­ond round came along. Yeah, I was thrilled (ahem) to receive the man­u­script back with com­ments on the indi­vid­ual pages. Hon­estly, I thought I’d nailed it. Nope.


6. I got to work, and let me tell you, I wasn’t mess­ing around. I sprayed my son’s clothes with germ killer after he returned from preschool every day. My hus­band fig­ured out a way to wake me, get me to work, bring me home, feed me, and get enough water on me so body funk wasn’t an issue. I sat my ass down and with the focus of a rag­ing fire, I worked through the sec­ond edits as if life on earth would cease if I was late again.


7. The sec­ond edit round was com­pleted a week early. My agent and edi­tors were happy, and I had Thanks­giv­ing to look for­ward to with­out the pen­du­lum of the man­u­script over my neck. Entan­gled Pub­lish­ing has a qual­ity assur­ance process, copy and line edits, and the final “please, edi­to­r­ial direc­tor, please approve the book for pub­li­ca­tion” stage. Ha! I’ve learned a ton about myself as a writer, the sup­port net­work I have, and the many peo­ple who con­tinue to stand by me.

I can do this writ­ing thing, Geek Army. I can accom­plish my dreams. Screw it, I’m Batman!



  1. You did an amaz­ing job on your revi­sions and are so great to work with! Rest, relax, and rejoice. THEN get to work on the sequel


  2. Aw, thanks, Robin. Work­ing with you and Liz has been a great expe­ri­ence. I’ve learned so much. And yes, the next book is under­way. Good Lord, I’ll need more ani­mated gifs. ;)

  3. You did it!!!!

    And that is the most EPIC Bat­man video ever… Just sayin’!!! :)

    I’m so happy for you and can’t wait to read the book!!!

    Lisa :)

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