My journey to novelist, part 5

A Family Affair

Working with a professional editor has been like taking a master class in writing. I learn something new every time I speak with one.

The plot, story arc(s), and revised ending for ‘Monsters and Miracles’ all got the okay this time. However, there was still some editing work to do. I’d rewritten a third of the sentences, not to mention the entire ending. The manuscript needed another grammar check, and my editor had gotten quite busy. She recommended another editor for the job, but I assured her I had access to people who could handle the job from here.

I went through the book myself and moved or removed a lot of commas, caught some spelling mistakes and a couple past/present tense issues before I passed the manuscript on to my wife. Marlene has a background in accounting and contract administration. She found a mistake on just about every page. I made those corrections and then forwarded the work to my brother. Brian had been an English major, worked as a journalist and was writing a novel of his own. He graciously took some time off from his projects to look over mine.

While he was working on my book, I tasked my sister with designing its outside. I sent her the manuscript, which she and her eight-year-old twins (my target audience, by the way) read. Tanya is a gifted graphic artist, though I didn’t realize how talented she was until I saw some of the cover proofs she sent me. I was blown away. She’d captured the tone and mystery of the story perfectly. Plus, her sons had given my book two enthusiastic thumbs up - still my favorite review to this day.

As good as I'd felt having a partner, having a team was fantastic. The family affair was also an international effort. Tanya and her boys live in Canada, Brian lives in Mexico, while my wife and I are in the USA.

Brian had several insightful suggestions about character development and found a few more grammar issues. I went through the manuscript again. Now that I felt my book was finally ready for publication, there was another big decision ahead of me...

Watch for part 6 – Houses, cars and books...

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