I’ve spent the last three days doing something that I’ve done for clients but never for myself – a read-aloud edit of a novel.
Several years ago, my second novel, Dream or Destiny, was accepted for publication by a small press publisher. However, after the contract was signed but before production started, the company changed its business operation in ways that I wasn’t comfortable with. I had not been paid an advance and the publisher hadn’t done any editing or incurred any other costs, so the company released me from my contract when I made the request.
GASLight Publishing accepted the book last year, but health problems of the company’s owners delayed publication. Now, we’re finally back on track.
My friend, mentor, and publisher (as well as client for other projects) Grace Anne Schaefer came to my home Sunday evening, and we worked long hours on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday editing the book. Grace Anne read the story aloud while I followed on the screen. We corrected a few grammar errors, rewrote a scene in which we discovered an inconsistency, smoothed out some awkward sentences, improved a few transitions, and revised several places where the passage of time had been the story line dated. For example, caller ID was not ubiquitous when I wrote the book, so we had to account for the protagonists’ failure to get the caller ID when they received a threatening phone call.
I’ve mentioned in several previous posts that reading the work aloud on the almost-final edit is the best way I know to find errors, inconsistencies, and awkward construction.
Besides when you do it with a friend like Grace Anne, it’s fun! We laughed when we found a silly mistake, and Grace Anne read in the voices of the characters … and sometimes got carried away. 🙂 I didn’t do this with my first novel because I hadn’t learned the technique before a publisher accepted it, and I didn’t have the luxury of working that closely with the editor at the publishing company.
I enjoyed the process of editing Dream or Destiny with Grace Anne, and I’m really excited about the final result. At the risk of sounding conceited, I have to say I’m pleased with the book. Coming back to it after several years almost seemed like reading a novel by another author … and if that were the case, I’d recommend the book to other readers! 🙂
Here’s a sneak preview of Dream or Destiny, which will be coming out from GASLight Publishing in a few months:
Marilee Anderson dreams about a murder and wakes to find the murder has actually occurred. Her knowledge of the crime from her dream and her previous relationship with the victim’s boyfriend make her a prime suspect. David Nichols, the victim’s brother, is also a suspect because he desperately needs money to save his failing business, and his gun in the caliber of the murder weapon is missing.
In spite of doubts and suspicions of each other, Marilee and David team up to find the killer. Each is determined to clear his or her own name, and David wants vengeance for his sister’s death.
Does the eccentric woman everyone calls “the crazy lady” know something, or is she completely delusional? Does the cheating couple have more to hide than their illicit affair? Why has David’s abusive father suddenly appeared after all these years? Why had the victim expressed fear of her ex-husband, the sacker at the grocery store, and her boyfriend (Marilee’s ex)? Can Marilee and David trust each other? Or will they be the next victims?
If you enjoy romantic suspense, I hope you’ll read my story. I’ll let you know when it’s available.
[tags]writing, editing, Dream or Destiny, Grace Anne Schaefer, romantic suspense novel[/tags]