Saturday, July 31, 2010

Who’s Right? Editor or Author

Should publishers have the last say about editing? What happens if you disagree with your editor? What if they change something that really stands out and disrupts the story?
What recourse does an author have in the editing process? Are they at the editors and publishers mercy?

Recently, I went through that very same thing. I was accused of being witchy, ignorant and an egotist.

I do admit when I saw the main character's name misspelled from the first line throughout the story, it made me angry. And yes, I was wrong, but I did use capital letters, especially after it continued. Not very professional on my part and I did apologize to the editor after she called me on it. 
Funny thing was I agreed with most of the changes the editor made to my manuscript. There were only a few things I insisted not be changed. One was the word – however, in the middle of a love scene. Okay, I have to admit I really flipped when it blared at me. I mean seriously, what does the word however show? Not a darn thing -especially combined with the words – her body betrayed her. Which was fine all by itself, why would you add however? I took it out; the editor put it back in.

Another problem was a shopping trip that I spread out way too long – a boring scene, the editor said, and she was right. She rewrote it and I rewrote it and shortened it more. I agreed it needed to be shortened, I didn’t balk about it.  She rejected my words. Why, I don’t know.

She accused me of not liking to be corrected and determined to do things my way. Funny, I didn’t have a problem with the first book they published, the editors and I got along fine, they made some changes I accepted and they accepted some I didn’t care for. It’s called compromise. I’ve worked with other editors on manuscripts and never had a problem with them. So, I’m not sure where she’s coming from.

I was an editor for another publisher and never did I ignore the words of the author when I asked for or suggested a change. If an author rewrote something I suggested, that was fine. It’s the way authors learn. Heck, sometimes I learned too. Just because we’re editors doesn’t make us experts or perfect. I also had more than two edits with the authors.
I mean seriously, I had two content edits and one line edit. I've never heard of that in the publishing world. I've heard of edits that took months. Both author and editor have to be happy with the final work.
I also never received galleys for my first book with them either. That also strikes me as odd. I thought all publishers sent you the galley to make sure there weren't any errors. I guess this publisher thinks it's not necessary. Their editors must be perfect and don't make mistakes.

One more problem I had was the use of ‘ing’ words with the ‘to be’ verbs like was. I like action words. If I can use a past tense verb in place of a passive verb, I’ll do it every time. It’s my style. I believe she told me if the action was happening now, the writing needed to be present tense. And, she went on to say, that my style was wrong. I still think writing - Yet she wanted to experience more. Wanted to feel his fingers running through her hair. Works better than :Wanting to feel his fingers running through her hair. In fact, wanting doesn’t even make sense to me. I also think - Or maybe because he was unlike any man she’d ever met before. – works better than : Or maybe it was because he was unlike any man she’d ever met before. The ‘it was’ is unnecessary, especially because you have 'was' a couple words later. But, hey what do I know? I’m only an author.

Pretty much that’s what she indicated in her final email to me. She also said it was out of her hands. Now, I want you to know, this was only her first edit with me. I had two edits with the content editor, who I worked very well with. But only one with the line editor. I wouldn’t have known she changed chapters if I hadn’t objected strongly to her edits and she sent me her final.

 What I’d really like to know is how can a publishing company only do a couple edits? Oh wait, I know, because they make the changes they want and send it to production without the author knowing about them.

 I offered a compromise, but so far I haven’t heard back. She said she’d take another look. We’ll see what she does. I don’t see why she couldn’t agree to the two things I want when I’m willing to concede the rest of the edits, poor or not.

Fortunately, she agreed with the compromise and the book is now going to be published. I'm glad we came to an amicable agreement.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Designed by Destiny is due to be released August 5th.

Fate – kismet – whatever it was, it turned Interior Designer, Wendy Seidel’s world upside down. From a chance meeting at the airport to Florida and back to Ohio, Wendy can’t believe the strange circumstances that put her and Bill Johnson together.

“Ugh!” What the hell? Wendy’s feet slipped out from under her. Splat, she landed flat on her back. Her carry-on bag slid across the floor.

Suddenly, someone fell on top of her. Pinned to the floor, the breath knocked out of her, she lay still a moment.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” She caught her breath and pushed him off. “Everyone’s always in such a big hurry.”

“Why’d you slow down? You darned near stopped in front of me.” He stood up, brushed himself off and held out his hand to help her up. “Sorry.”

Wendy pushed his hand away, got to her knees and stood. She didn’t need his help. Not his or anyone else’s for that matter. What she needed was to find her carry-on bag and get on to her gate.

“Look, I’m sorry. It was entirely my fault. I shouldn’t have been in such a hurry.” He held his hand out to her again, but she ignored it.

“Here, let me get that for you.” He hurried to pick up her bag, only to have her grab it first.

“Look, Mister, I have a plane to catch, so excuse me if I don’t have time to chat.” Wendy straightened up her bag, grabbed the handle and started toward her gate. Good looking though, she thought, in a rustic sort of way. Probably worked outdoors or at least spent a lot of time outside. Not that it made any difference. She didn’t have time for him. Or any man for that matter. She had a career to build, and men didn’t figure into it.

It wasn’t that she didn’t like men. She did. Even dated occasionally. Eventually she’d like to have a relationship, even get married. But relationships and marriage took time, not something she had right now. Her career came first. Something about him, though.

She couldn’t resist looking back. Great, he stood watching her with a silly grin on his face. Nice eyes, though, soft gray. She loved gray eyes. Maybe because her grandfather had gray eyes. He lifted his hand and waved at her. Heat burned her face.

Wendy turned and hurried off in the direction of the gate and looked at the signs above. Only at gate 2. Not even close. Of course her gate was at the farthest end of the airport. Thankfully, she had plenty of time to get there.

She avoided a heavyset man, hell bent on his mission. Crap, she hated this time of year. Everyone was in such a big hurry.

To make matters worse, her butt hurt but she resisted rubbing it. Didn’t need to look like any more of an idiot. Ah, gate 11, finally. May as well sit down and relax, she still had forty-five minutes before her flight. She took a book out of the side pocket of her carry-on and settled back to wait. Not that she could concentrate. She was still angry at her boss. Who in their right mind set up a meeting with a client right before New Years? And in Florida, no less. Besides, she had plans for New Year’s Eve.

So she was getting out of Ohio, big deal. So her friends thought she was lucky, especially with the predicted snowstorm. Didn’t make any difference to her. She liked snow.

She glanced out a window. Already it was coming down pretty heavy, and there was still a good half hour before her flight.

Damn it, she hated flying. She could have Fed-Ex’d the samples. What was so important that she had to personally bring them? Besides, she thought they’d settled everything before the client left. Why the sudden big change? Couldn’t they have at least waited until after the holidays?

Nick Donatello, her boss,  promised she’d be home by New Year’s Eve. Yeah right. She knew how these things went. First this problem, than that one. She’d be lucky to be home in time for her nephew’s birthday on the sixth. Nick better not have any funny ideas. This was strictly business. She’d heard about his reputation with women. So far he hadn’t shown her any interest, and that was fine with her. Good-looking though he was, nothing about him attracted her. Definitely not her type. Not that she had a type

“Looks like we’re on the same flight,” a masculine voice said.

Wendy looked up and almost groaned out loud. This couldn’t be happening. What were the chances they’d be on the same flight? She tried to ignore him, but something drew her gaze to his.

“Bill Johnson.” He extended his hand toward her. “I really am sorry about knocking you down.”

Wendy shrugged and took his hand. “No problem.” A quiver started deep in her stomach when he held her hand a bit longer than necessary. Rough, calloused hands. Does hard work. Maybe construction. Wendy pulled hers away and turned her attention back to her book. She hated talking to people at airports. Lord, tell me he doesn’t have the seat next to me. She couldn’t be that unlucky, could she? She peeked at the ticket sticking out of his coat pocket. Seat 16A. No way, what were the chances? She hoped he’d take the hint and leave her alone.

“Are you staying in Fort Myers?” He sat down next to her.

Figures, no such luck. She nodded. If she didn’t contribute to the conversation, maybe he’d be quiet. She kept her eyes on her book but couldn’t concentrate. She had the irresistible urge to look at him. What was it about him?

“Visiting or business?”

Wendy looked up from her book. He just wasn’t going to quit. “Business, no time for pleasure.” Maybe that would shut him up.

He smiled. “Everyone has time for pleasure. All work and no play...” He let the rest of the saying hang.

Wendy picked up her book. “I guess I’m a dull boy then.” Why didn’t he just leave her alone? Let her read in peace. She couldn’t be much ruder. Some people just couldn’t take a hint.

Bill laughed. A big hearty laugh that caused people to stare. Wendy wanted to crawl under her seat. “What’s so funny?”

“Honey, you look like anything but a boy.” His eyes took her in from top to bottom and came to rest on her breast.

Heat rushed to her face again. Crap, why did she blush so easily? Her face was probably as red as her hair. “Okay, so I don’t look like a boy. Just finishing the saying. And DON’T call me honey!” She put the book in front of her face and tried to read. Lord, spare me friendly people. Especially men.

The last thing she needed was a man trying to pick her up. She wished he’d just go away. She could call airport security, but she didn’t want to cause a scene. He’d done enough of that.

“Since you won’t tell me your name, I don’t know what else to call you.”

“Don’t call me anything.” Wendy slammed her book shut, stood up, and walked to the window. Some people just couldn’t take a hint. What more did she have to do to let him know she wasn’t interested? She stared out the window. Things didn’t look good outside.

“Full blown blizzard.” Bill’s deep voice came from behind.

Wendy shivered from the warmth of his breath on her neck . Or was it from his nearness? She looked at her watch. Still a half hour before take off. So far they hadn’t cancelled the flight. As if her thoughts magically conjured it up, a voice came over the PA system. “We regret to inform you that all flights to and from Cleveland Hopkins Airport have been cancelled until further notice. New flights can be rebooked as soon as we resume our schedule. Sorry for any inconvenience. Airport shuttles are standing by to take you to a hotel. If you can’t get a room, you’re welcome to stay at the airport. Concession stands and restaurants will remain open for your convenience.

Great, just great. What more could go wrong? At least she could go home. If she could get a cab that is. With the way it looked outside, she had a feeling most of the roads were closed too.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer are the hottest, most sultry days of summer, usually from early July to the beginning of September.   Why are they called the Dog Days of Summer?  According to Wikiedia -The Dog Days originally were the days when Sirius rose just before or at the same time as sunrise (heliacal rising), which is no longer true, owing to precession of the equinoxes. The Romans sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather.

 In Ancient Rome, the Dog Days extended from July 24 through August 24 (or, alternatively July 23-August 23).

According to The Book of Common Prayer (1552), the "Dog Daies" begin on July 6 and end on August 17.

The Old Farmer's Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, coinciding with the ancient heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. These are the days of the year when rainfall is at its lowest levels.

That is certainly holding true this year.  It's been horribly hot and humid. I'd sure like to give my airconditioners a rest. Not to mention, I don't even want to see my electric bill.  It rained for a bit and now it feels like a sauna.

Hang in there, winter is coming and we'll be complaining about that. Give me spring all year round.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I'm being roasted at Author Roast and Toast, Join me Friday, July 16th  for a day filled with fun.  We'll have martinis, dinner and an excellent dessert. So let's make it a day to remember. The hostesses along with Oliver and their mischievous mascots, Cuddles and Junior will let the good times roll. The butler, the sexy and charismatic Oliver mixes up a mean martini. They're serving a great dinner and ice cream cake for dessert. One lucky person will win an e-copy of my book Time to Live Again. Just leave a comment. Join me at

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

I was absolutely shocked when I opened my email and found out I received this award.
I am honored to receive it. However, it comes with a few rules.
1. Thank those who loved me enough to bestow this gift.

2. Share seven things about myself.

3. Bestow this honor onto 15 newly discovered or followed bloggers–in no particular order–who are fantastic in some way.

4. Drop by and let my fifteen new friends know I love them.

Thank you Lea, you are a gem.

Seven things about myself.   I can't even think of seven things about myself. .  This isn't as easy as it sounded.
Okay, here goes.

1. I am married.
2. I have six children - 3 daughters and 3 sons in that order
3. I have 13 (soon to be 14) grandchildren - 9 granddaughtes and 4 grandsons (soon to be 5)
4. I have one great grandchild - a great grandson
5. I had 3 brothers and 2 sisters (in that order) unfortunately, my oldest brother and older sister have gone on to a better place. I miss them like crazy.
6. I love to embroider and quilt - especially combining the two.
7. I love Springtime and Summer - I love the Fall colors but dislike Fall - Winter is beautiful, but it depresses me.

Okay here's the bloggers
Christine London
James Hartley
Carol Preflatish
Debra Sue Denson
Becky Moore
Belinda Mc Bride
Heather Wildman