So I’m officially signed up with an agent today! I’m wondering if my head can get any bigger. I can’t wait to go to NY and say, “I’m heading to the city this week to see my agent.” Dontcha know. Where’s my tiara, Dakota? LOL.
Of course, this means nothing for the time being. She has my book and loves it, and will send me a two page list of things to work on tomorrow, lol. (She wondered if I would be able to finish by May. She doesn’t know how fast I work, lol.) Afterward the book has to be sold and then sell to the public, so there are many, many steps to be taken.
This is what is fun about starting any relationship – and I’m looking forward to working with an agent.
I remember starting off with my first editor, Allie from Ellora’s Cave. She was terrific – very helpful – and her advice (very good advice) was to READ other books. She used to send me lists of books she wanted me to read, and, wanting to make progress – I read. I still think reading is a great way to learn to write. Some of the books she told me “You’re going to hate this one – but watch how the author developes the tension between the hero and heroine.” Or she’d say, “this book is great for its plot.” And she was right, and reading the books helped me immensely.
My second editor was my darling Mama Z, who helped polish up ‘Diamina’ from a rambling fable into a tightly woven fantasy tale. Then I was lucky to have Martha, senior editor from Ellora’s Cave and a terrific editor, who helped make ‘My Fair Pixie’ into a best-seller for Ellora’s Cave, (and a Silver Star too!) Now I have Ann, and she’s absolutely essential for my writing. I feel so confident when she tells me that edits are finished – I know there are no more mistakes in the book; she is amazingly thorough. And I can’t talk about editors without mentioning Erin from Loose-Id, who spent so much time with me polishing Virtual Murder into the shiny book it is, (as well as Battle’s Bride and Time Traveller, not to mention Ice Man!) And from Changeling Press, Maryam – who is so much fun to work with because she always has so much positive things to say about my writing (we authors need that sort of thing, lol!)
But each relationship started with that first contact, the first comments about the book, and the first suggestions about how to make it better.
I await these suggestions with impatience. I’m one of those geeky authors who think that editors make books ‘sparkle’, and I love to edit. Perhaps it’s because I have such fun editing with my mom (who was, truth be told, my English teacher in school as well as my first editor.) I learned to take criticsm from her, because she is Good, and because she never babied me. If she thought my writing sucked, she said so, and left it to me to figure out how to make it better.
Her best advice: “When in doubt, leave it out.” In other words, don’t agonize over a sentence or a phrase – if you are, it’s probably better to just cut it out.
Believe me – it’s good advice, lol.
We used to sit and edit my books, and sometimes we’d be laughing until we cried at the misplaced modifiers (my personal favorites) or the repeated words (“How many times can you fit ‘bit’ on one page, Sam?”) and then she’d point out where the plot sagged and I’d fix it (that’s one thing I’m good at is fixing things – even around the house) or she’d tell me to cut something (and I do – I don’t mind cutting. It makes the writing tighter)
And now I realise I’m rambling and she’d probably have me cut that last paragraph but I’ll leave it in, because blogging, thank goodness, doesn’t get edited, lol.
And my ear still aches today so I’m wearing a hat in the house. Thank goodness I’m not expecting royalty.