I have had the pleasure of editing the last four books in the Marie Jenner Mystery Series by E.C. Bell. Which is probably why, when I asked her if she’d like to borrow my blog to talk about the latest release she decided to write her blog post in the format of a letter to her editor. Me.
Can you believe it? Book 7 is about to be released. 7 books in an 8 book series, which means there’s just one more book to go! I have this feeling it’s going to be a crazy year, so I thought I’d take a moment now to tell you how much I appreciate all that you do.
Now, I don’t know if you know this, but I wasn’t always the easiest writer to work with. As a matter of fact, when I first started writing, I hated having anyone touch my work. After all, it was my work, my words. And every one of those words was pure gold. Anyone with eyes could see that.
(Actually, I was afraid to let people even read my work, for fear that I’d find out I wasn’t a real writer, but simply a bad copy. However, the result was the same. I didn’t let people touch my work.)
In spite of all that, I wanted to be a published author. Part of the deal when you decide to become a published author is—you have to have stories published. So, I started sending my bits of gold out into the world. And surprise, surprise— some of them were accepted.
In the beginning, I thought (foolish me) that selling a story or a book was the end of things for me. That the story or book would be printed, as it was, and that I’d be paid. (That actually happened for the first two stories I sold, so you can see why I had that idea.) But I was wrong.
Selling that book or story is just the start. That’s when people like you get their hands on the words. A writing friend of mine called editing “spackling.” I called it housework. Never ending cleaning that honestly wasn’t any fun at all. And I really couldn’t see the point, because every word was gold. Right?
But here’s the thing. I started to see real improvement in my work. All those bits of gold? Some of them were pyrite, and needed to go. Working with an editor didn’t expose me as a bad writer. It made my work better, and made me a better writer.
Sometimes I still overreact to suggestions you make. (Like, for example, rewriting half a book because a character was a “bit too dark for the series.” Oops.) And sometimes you make a suggestion that hits a line I have in the sand. “This is pyrite,” you say. When I honestly don’t think it is.
But that doesn’t happen often, thank goodness, because usually, you’re right. You see what needs to be “spackled.” You see what needs to be cleaned. You see the pyrite, and help me pluck it out, so the work is better. Much better.
So, I count myself lucky to be able to work with you because I know that you are working with me, to make my work the absolute best it can be. And what can be better than that?
Not much, I say. So thanks, from the bottom of my heart.
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Also? Eileen is giving away a cool Marie Jenner gift pack which includes a Tying the Knot cup, treats and drinks to enjoy, and items that relate to the series and to Vegas, plus a print copy of Seeing the Light which is the first book in the series.
Speaking of the series, you don’t need to have read it to enjoy Tying the Knot. Each one of the Marie Jenner books stands alone.
Enough about that, though, enter the draw here: