Friday, October 24, 2014

Seven Things That Will Make Your Editor Happy

with guest Erica Vetsch.
Happy Birthday, Seekerville! I can’t believe it’s been SEVEN years already! Thank you for having me back again. It’s an honor!

Last time I was here, things got real. I was in a pretty raw and lonely place, and I wrote about what happens to a published author when that next contract doesn’t come…when they’re writing in the weeds. (You can read the post by clicking HERE) I wanted to thank you all very much for your support and encouragement following that post.  

Since the airing of that blog-post, I’m happy to report that there has been a nice uptick in my writing activity. (You can read about the happy news HERE) So, now that I’m back under deadline, and in keeping with Seekerville’s SEVENTH birthday, I thought I’d share with you seven things that make an editor happy…and we ALL want to make our editors happy, right?

1.    Write the book you said you would.

If your editor has contracted a Historical Romance story from you, don’t turn in an epic sci-fi/fantasy piece that you just couldn’t get out of your head. While most editors understand that writers are creative people with lots of ideas, when you’ve signed on the dotted line to deliver a certain product, that’s the product you should deliver. Anything else gums up the works. Publishing houses work far in advance of a books’ release with marketing copy, retail placements, advertising spots, etc. They cannot, and most likely will not switch gears just because you chose to chase a wild hare.

My publishing house has a brand (historical romance) and I have a brand (historical romance) and if I should turn in to them a manuscript that was anything else, they would be, shall we say, less than pleased. So write the book you promised them. 

Barbour Editor, Annie Tipton & Erica
2.    Meet your deadlines 

As mentioned above, publishing houses and editors work to a schedule. Lots of people, not just your editor, are counting on you to deliver the completed manuscript when promised. However, it is the editor who catches the flack from marketing, sales, publicity, printing, copy editing, cover art, etc. when you are late. Editors lose sleep. A sleep-deprived and pressured editor, when deciding to whom they will issue the next contract, is more likely to give it to the author who has consistently met the deadlines. 

***Bonus points for turning in a quality manuscript ahead of deadline.***

Editors understand that life happens, and that there can be legitimate reasons for not making a deadline, but as much as possible, follow through on the promise you made when signing your contract. Deliver the goods on time. Which brings us to the next point.

Erica with Barbour Senior Editor Rebecca Germany
3.    Communicate – no dead air

When I received my first contract back at the 2008 ACFW Conference, I met with my brand new editor, JoAnne Simmons. I don’t remember a lot about that meeting (I was still riding high in euphoria) but I do remember asking her one question. 

“What is one thing your new authors do that you wish they wouldn’t?”

The one thing she said, and which was seconded by another editor, Rebecca Germany, who was there at the time, was that authors feel they can’t or shouldn’t communicate too much with their editor. They didn’t want to be a problem child.

While there is some truth to that—you don’t want to bombard your editor with emails about the minutiae of your life—it far worse NOT to communicate with your editor about issues related to your manuscript and contract. If you are struggling to meet a deadline, if you don’t understand an editorial comment, if you don’t like your cover art, etc. yet you never say so, how are they going to be able to help?

This is also where an agent is invaluable. Oftentimes, you can talk to your agent first, and they will filter what you’re going through and see if it needs to be passed along to the editor. 

The key here is to communicate and not shut down.

4.    Study the craft

A contract is not a sign that you have made it. A contract is a sign that your growth as a writer needs to continue. Your editor will appreciate it if they see you are working hard on becoming a better writer, studying the craft, trying new techniques, strengthening your weaknesses and maximizing your strengths. It has been my pleasure to see my editors do the same things. I sat near one of my editors a few years ago in a day-long workshop given by Donald Maass. I was impressed that she would be there in order to help make her writers better, to learn what they were learning.  Read books on writing, read great fiction, hang out at Seekerville and glean all the wisdom and knowledge that is given so freely by these industry pros. Attend conferences and workshops. Never assume you’ve ‘made it’ when it comes to being a writer. Your editor will appreciate both the effort and the humility this kind of studious approach takes.

Author and editor Aaron McCarver with Erica.
5.    Edit your manuscript before you send it in 

 “There’s no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting.” (Robert Graves) is a mantra to which editors around the globe ascribe. And authors should, too. Every manuscript benefits from editing, and it is your job to do as much of this up front before your editor ever sees it as you possibly can.

The editing process will look different for each author, but every manuscript needs editing. I know some authors who edit what they wrote the day before, and then write new stuff. I know some who write the first half to two-thirds of a manuscript, then go back and edit it before writing the ending of the book. Some write the whole thing and send it to readers, some send chapters to crit partners, and some let the manuscript rest between the writing and the editing, but ALL good writers edit their manuscript before they send it in to their publishing house. 

This means you have to use your time wisely. You have to plan to finish the creative draft/first draft/rough draft in plenty of time to allow for your editing process. Clean up your messy draft and make it as beautiful as you can before you turn it in. Your editor will thank you if you don’t make them do the work you should’ve done first.

6.    Gladly and graciously receive edits.

This is a big one. Perhaps as big or bigger than turning in your manuscript on time.

Hopefully, by the time you’ve gotten to the point of receiving a contract, you are used to having others evaluate your work. You’ve entered contests, participated in critiques, had beta readers, something, so when you receive your first edit letter, you are not completely thrown for a loop.

Determine in your heart beforehand that when you receive edits, you will be glad and gracious. Does this mean that it might not sting a little? No. Does it mean you will agree with everything your editor says? No. Does it mean that you absolutely have to take every suggestion and edit? No. Does it mean you should rise up in righteous anger and refuse to alter your precious baby by so much as one dangling participle? NO!

You and your editor are on the same team. You have the same goal. You both want to turn out the best book possible that will resonate with readers and result in a quality product that is a credit to both you and your publishing house. Your editor is a pro who can be objective about your work in a way you could never be.

Your attitude needs to exude humility, eagerness to be part of a team, and a willingness to learn and cooperate. This will make your editor VERY happy.

Keep in mind Proverbs 1: 5-7

A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
 To understand a proverb and a figure,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

7.    Do your part with social media

I know. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Goodreads, Blogging, Pinterest. SO. MUCH. MEDIA. How do you keep up with all of them?

The straight-truth answer is…you don’t. You can’t. You cannot keep up with every type of social media option available. It is a physical impossibility. You certainly can’t keep up with even the majority and still write books.

But editors in this brave new world of Internet Marketing require their authors to do at least some connecting through social media.

And it’s something of which you shouldn’t be afraid. And happily, most social media is FREE. Take advantage of it.

The key is to find one or two methods that YOU enjoy, and engage readers there. I happen to enjoy blogging and Facebook, but not twitter or instagram so much. So you will find me posting several times per day on Facebook, both my personal page and my author page, and blogging once a week on my group blog Coffee Cups & Camisoles. I’m finding my way around Pinterest and enjoying that, too.

If you work at some form of social media, your editors and publishers will appreciate your efforts and even in some cases come alongside you to help.

So there you have it, seven things guaranteed to make your editors happy people. Happy editors mean happy writers which mean happy readers. And isn’t that what we all want?

Anything else you'd like to add?

To celebrate Seekerville’s Birthday, one commentor will win a copy of Sagebrush Knights. Let us know you want your name in the bonnet!

Author Bio: Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two in her historical romances. Whenever she’s not immersed in fictional worlds, she’s the bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and an avid museum patron.

Find me on FACEBOOK

Find me on PINTEREST


Find me on AMAZON.COM

Now available for pre-order!  

Order here

Watch as God lights the way of love, despite the resolve of three Colorado men. A collapsing mine shaft made David Mackenzie blind and bitter, but Karen Worth will not give up on her unconditional love for him. Disillusioned by love, Sam Mackenzie reluctantly escorts a jobless and homeless Eldora Carter plus three orphaned cross country. And just when that challenge seems too overwhelming, an avalanche descends. . . . Pastor Silas Hamilton falls for Willow Starr, an actress bound for New York City. But he’s fairly sure the love between a pastor and an actress could never survive. . .could it?

Order Here

Through nine historical romance adventures, readers will journey along with individuals who are ready to stake a claim and plant their dreams on a piece of the great American plains. While fighting land disputes, helping neighbors, and tackling the challenges of nature the homesteaders are placed in the path of other dreamers with whom romance sparks. And God has His hand in orchestrating each unique meeting.

(Note this collection also features Mary Connealy, Pam Hillman, and Ruth Logan Herne!)


  1. Hi Erica.

    What a terrific post. And I'm SO over the moon happy for your success and the new contracts. YAY!!!!!

  2. Great list.

    You got me on the one about not communicating with your editor for fear of being a problem child. And the social media one is really tough for me.

    The coffee pot is set.

  3. New contracts! Means new books for this reader, Yeah. Have a super great Friday! Thanks for posting today!

  4. So happy to get to be in a collection with you! And um, I need to head write back to attempting to be an online deadline author! Ciao!

  5. Congratulations on all that good news, Erica! I am thrilled for you!

  6. Erica, your # on social media got me thinking about the things you post on FB. Call me slow, but it just dawned on me that, as a Royals fan, you must be loving this year's October! Has it been easy--writing under a deadline and watching all these crazy, five hour games?

  7. Erica - congratulations on your great news! I met you in line at the editor/agent appointment area at ACFW this year. Thanks for sharing the tips while waiting for that next contract.

  8. Lots of great advice! I especially like your advice to focus on two forms of social media- very smart! Please include me in your drawing!

  9. Erica, I am so happy to hear your news about your new books/novellas! Congratulations!!!

    Thank you for the great post too! I would love to have my name tossed into the bonnet to win a copy of Sagebrush Knights. Thank you for your generosity.

    Have a blessed day and Happy Birthday Seekerville!

    Smiles & Blessings
    Cindy W.

  10. I'm looking forward to reading the collection Erica. Sounds great! And thanks for the tips in this post. Now that I have an editor it helps to know how to behave with one. Thank you and have a great day!

  11. I am so stinkin' excited to be in The Homestead Brides Collection WITH YOU!!!!


    We're in this together!!!! YAY!

    You know what struck me most about this?

    1. EDIT YOUR MANUSCRIPT FIRST. Do that re-write, slice the words and clean, clean, clean!

    2. Accept Edits Graciously. It's their book now, as much as yours. Grabbing hold and knowing how to re-edit, change things up, polish and see things through multiple eyes...

    Erica, this is HUGE!!!! Thank you for this wisdom!

    Helen covered coffee, I've brought DANNOLIS from Frangelli's in Philadelphia... Cannoli-stuffed donuts.

    Oh Be Still My Heart


    And a reminder to all that when the creek dries up.... even for a WHILE...

    Today's publishing gives us the option to make new waterways! :) Hey, I live by the Erie Canal.... those folks didn't sit around waiting for a way to ship goods to NYC and points east. They DUG THEIR WAY to success.

    Erica, I love that you're crazy busy again! Happy dancing!!!

  13. Hi Erica,
    Great post! Thanks for the tips. I don't have an editor, yet, but I enjoyed reading your post and it makes sense.
    Hate is a strong word, but it comes close to what I feel for FB.:-) I've TRIED to LIKE, but so far it hasn't happened!:-)

  14. Good morning Erica!

    I for one had a bad habit of not communicating enough with my editor. I doubt I'm alone in this.

    Your nails are gorgeous!

  15. Thanks for these 7 great tips. And thanks for permission not to be perfect on all social media.

    Thanks for sharing Erica, and congratulations!

  16. Erica!!!

    What spot on advice. I think it can't be stressed enough to be gracious about changes your editor asks for!

    I'm so very happy for your 'uptick' in contracts and can't wait to read your new work.

    And maybe some of your releases will coincide with mine and we can do a signing a together.

  17. ERICA!!!! So good to see you here in Seekerville!!! And thanks for showering us with your never-ending wisdom : )

    Your advice regarding choose your social media struck home with me. I get lost in all the venues for chit-chat. I remember coming home from work and thinking "I'll just take a peek on Facebook" and before I knew it, DH was turning off the lights and asking if I was coming to bed.

    A whole evening (not just one!) lost in cyber-space.

    I had to quit cold-turkey and now only toss a glance at the Facebook world.

    If I have a problem adhering to any of your seven bullet-points, it's staying on task and finishing the draft.

    LOL! I love editing and revising!!!

    So glad you joined us today, toots!!!

  18. HELEN, social media is hard for me too. Except for here. :)
    Kathy Bailey

  19. And my, my, my! How in the world do those gorgeous nail survive the keyboard AND a lumber business???

    Lovely, just lovely : )

  20. MELISSA,
    Head "write" back? Good one.

  21. Do I see Piper has a birthday today??

    WooHoo! Let's celebrate! I've brought hot cinnamon rolls with gobs of gooey frosting just for the occasion.

    I'd sing too...but you wouldn't want me to : )

    Happy Birthday, Piper Huguley!!!!!!

  22. ERICA,
    It is helpful to learn that published authors have their low points. We are truly all in this together.

  23. Man, great stuff, Erica! And every one of them is spot on!

    Communicating, writing what I said I would, meeting deadlines. All of this falls under being professional.

    Writing (maybe sitting up late at night with bed-head, wearing our slippers) is the creative, crazy, pull-your-hair-out creative part of the process.

    The professional business side is where you shower, put on your "suit", brush your teeth and go out and shake hands. We communicate, we meet deadlines, we honor our obligations. We don't throw temper tantrums. We don't email our editor every 15 minutes over frivolous things. Hmmm, I can see how well that would have gone over with my former boss.... lol

  24. Oh, and THE HOMESTEAD BRIDES!!!!

    Mary Connealy, Erica Vetsch, Ruth Logan Herne, and ME!!! Whoot!!

    That is TOO fun!!! :)

  25. Erica, terrific to have you back posting in Seekerville! Huge congratulations on all those published books! I'm just thrilled for you and your readers!

    You nailed how to keep our editors happy! Thanks for sharing. I've always found my editors suggestions made my books better.


  26. And just so's youse know, in Ruthy historical novellas, "Snark" as we know it was alive and well! :)

    It just comes so darn natural in the 19th century, LOL! I think I learned that from Connealy.

    Don't tell her. sigh... It will go to her head and there'll be no living with her!

  27. PAM, good points and something I had to learn. Be eccentric at home. Be yourself (but your BEST self) when you present in public.
    Or in social media.
    Kathy B.

  28. What great tips, Erica. And not just tips, your suggestions are just what this pre-dubbed writer needs. I appreciate your thoughts today!

    I think you may have forgotten one thing: send chocolate. :) Okay, maybe not. :) But saying thank you I would think is pretty important. Keeping a grateful spirit for all the pub team does seems like a good way to keep on good terms with those one works with.

  29. Good morning, ladies! I am currently in Florida helping care for my father who recently had major surgery. I will be able to pop back in after a little while. I can't wait to chat with you all! :D

  30. Thanks for stopping by! Prayers for your father's recovery!

  31. Erica, praying for dad! Hugs to all of you!

  32. Congratulations on all your recent (and past!) successes!!!!

    This should be required reading for all new authors publishing with a traditional house.

    My favorite advice was: Communicate :)

  33. Erica,

    This post will be very valuable when I get to this stage in writing.

    I am on several author's street teams and I am seeing where this can be a big help to authors.

    I am praying for your father.

  34. Great stuff, Erica! We really appreciate you coming back to share again. I'm so glad for your recent success!!

    You know, I really appreciated your advice to communicate with your editor. That's a good reminder.

  35. MARY CURRY, Thank you! The dry time was hard, I won't kid you, and it sure is good to be through it for awhile, but I learned a lot, and hopefully, if it comes around again, I'll be better prepared. :)

    HELEN: thanks for putting the coffee pot on. :) Social media is hard for a lot of people. Sometimes it isn't so much finding the one or two you like the best but the one or two that you hate the least. ;)

  36. Hi Erica and welcome back to Seekerville. What great tips to keep those editors happy. Loved the photos with all your editors also.

    I have always found my editors made my manuscripts better so really think the tip to be gracious about rewrites and revising editorial recommendations is important. Thanks for sharing.

    Hope you have a terrific day.

  37. MARIANNE: Yay for readers! I hope you have a splendiferous Friday, too!

    MELISSA: I'm go happy to be in a collection with YOU! Congratulations on your Carol Award! Your dress was fantastic that night, too. :D Now, write on!

  38. TINA, I'm so proud of you I could just bust! Congratulations again on your Carol Award, and if you get any more photogenic, I might cry!

    SALLY I am LOVING this October! Go Royals! It has been hard to concentrate, and I'm on deadline and just got galley proofs in my inbox. :D EEEEK!

  39. TERRI, I remember you! And that interminable line! I was pretty sure they were going to find my skeleton standing in that line a century from now!

    And thank you on the fingernails. Growing long nails is my superpower. :D

  40. HEIDI: I came to the conclusion that it was better for me to do one or two things with social media and do them to the best of my ability rather than try to do them all and fail miserably at all of them. When I took the pressure off myself to be good at them all, I found I actually enjoyed the interaction on the blog and Facebook.

    CINDY W. Thank you! And I hope you get a chance to enjoy Sagebrush Knights. It's one of my favorites.

  41. PIPER! Congratulations on having some of the most beautiful book covers I've ever seen. The Mayor's Mission is stunning!

  42. Erica, congrats on your new contracts! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Congratulations, Erica! I'm glad to know there will be more books from you.

  44. RUTHY! Dannolis? I think I might've swooned a bit. :D

    Editing is so vital, and it's so necessary to get a pros opinion and input. I love getting editorial notes. My books are always stronger because of my editors.

  45. MARY HICKS: Not all social media is for everybody. A lot of people younger than I am love twitter, but I just can't seem to make it work for me. But I love Facebook and the interaction I have there.

    The good news is: there are many different ways to connect through social media, and there's bound to be one that you enjoy. :)

  46. Erica,
    You look fabulous in red, darling! It's your color. Love seeing you claim it! :)

    So glad the dry time ended. So hard...but, no doubt, a learning time. God always allows growth even in the desert.

    Love your Seven today! I'd add, "Pray for your editor."

    Unpubbed? Then pray for the editors and publishing houses you're targeting. They come under attack too. We need them, just as they need our stories.

    I try to be a low-maintenance author. Hopefully, my editor appreciates least she keeps offering contracts so I must be doing something right. LOL!

    BTW, I love your enthusiasm, Erica, and zest for life. It goes with the red!


  47. Piper's birthday?

    I've brought cake to celebrate!

    Happy Birthday, Piper!!!!!!!

  48. Social media?

    I struggled getting started, but love, love, love Facebook!

    Thinking I may try Pinterest next. Any tips?

  49. CARA, it's so hard to know when you need to chat with your editor, isn't it? I think, for me, it has become easier as I've worked with the same editors for awhile.

    JACKIE, I don't know anybody who is perfect on social media. For me, the key is knowing that social media is about making connections and sharing each others' lives, not about selling things.

  50. ROSE! We definitely need to do some more book signings together! And we'll make Mary come, too, because it's never quite the same party without Mary. :D

    CRYSTAL! Another one of my "This Line Is Never Going To End" buddies. I am so glad though, because if that line had zipped along, I never would've met such interesting and cool people! :)

  51. AUDRA! Social media can be such a time suck, can't it? I tend to pop in and out on Facebook throughout the day. I would hate to add up how much time I actually spend. *insert sheepish grin*

    As to the nails, they are freakishly strong, and I type on the tips. My keyboard has grooves in the keys.

  52. KAYBEE, The Seekers make it easy, don't they? They cottoned on quickly that social media is as much or more about the people than about the information. They made Seekerville a fun, inviting, friendly place to be.

    PAM, That's a great analogy. Kind of like Stephen King's writing the first draft with the door closed and editing with the door open. Though we love our book-babies, in the end, they are a product. We have to act like pros and produce a product the publisher can sell.


    And yay that Audra brought cinnamon rolls. If there are any leftovers, Ruthy makes cinnamon roll bread pudding that can put you into a dead faint. It is TO DIE FOR!

    KAYBEE, we are all in this together, and it's remembering that and encouraging each other through the hard times and celebrating together through the happy times that makes the journey richer and more joyful.

  54. Thank you for the kind words Erica! I appreciate it. Please know I'm praying for your father (and you,too).

    I so appreciate the birthday wishes, Seekerville! Thank you so much and Audra, how did you know I love cinnamon rolls? Thanks! *reaching for the gooey one right in the middle* I've got my spice cake, Debby Guisti! Thank you for for bringing it!

  55. Great tips, Erica. Congratulations on your new releases. These are the type books I like to curl up with on a lazy Saturday afternoon with hot cocoa and no distractions.

  56. Erica, did you say Ruthy makes cinnamon roll pudding after she made apple cake yesterday? She's so awesome!

    I hope there are some rolls left. This is what I get for being greedy....:)

  57. JANET, thank you! It was so great to see you in St. Louis. You always look so beautiful and your sweet smile just lights up a room.

    RUTHY, without snark, you wouldn't be Ruthy. And where is Mary today? I miss her.

  58. Congratulations, Erica! Thank you for these great tips!
    "Every manuscript needs editing"...boy, you can say that again...especially when it's got my name on it.
    I hope your father is doing better.

  59. JEANNE, you're right, being thankful is very important. You are part of a team when you publish a book, and everybody has an important role in the process that deserves to be recognized. :) And chocolate is good. VERY GOOD. :D

    LESLIE: Thank you for the prayers. We are certainly feeling well-loved by God's people.

    RUTHY, I totally 'less-than-three' you, lady!

  60. Thanks for the great tips, Erica! Especially the one about receiving edits with grace and humility! Will keep this in mind as I await my first edits from Bethany House! Gulp!

    So happy for all your good news!!


  61. SHERRI, thank you! I'm grateful that I had the wisdom of some authors who had gone ahead of me on the path to teach me what to expect and do once that first contract came. A lot of those teachers are right here at Seekerville!

    WILANI, thank you for the important job you do as a member of author street teams! So vital and appreciated!

  62. MISSY and SANDRA, thanks so much for having me here at Seekerville again. It is one of my favorite places, and you all are doing such fabulous work, both on the blog and with your outstanding fiction.

  63. MELANIE and JAIME, thank you! I'm happy to be busy with deadlines again! :D

  64. DEBBIE, I do LOVE red. I'm wearing red shoes right now.

    Your advice to pray for your editor is spot on. We often don't know the stresses and struggles our editors may be going through, but God sure does.

    As for Pinterest...I found there was a steep learning curve, especially with how to connect with others. I found that following people's boards and finding which of my FB friends were on Pinterest helped me find the boards and people that I had the most in common with.

  65. ELAINE, there's just something about slipping away into a fictional world that makes everything better, isn't there? I love it when I can read for two hours or so with no distractions! Do you have a favorite reading chair?

  66. PIPER, once when Ruthy and Audra and Mary and I were on a writing retreat, Mary's mom made cinnamon rolls for us. She made a HUGE pan we had leftovers. Ruthy turned those leftovers into cinnamon roll bread pudding...and she did it so casually, chatting away, no recipe, tossing things into bowls and not measuring a things.

    When they came out of the oven, I'm pretty sure I had a tear in my eye. That was the BEST bread pudding I've ever had.

  67. JILL, if you could see some of the hot messes I've cranked out as first drafts, you'd cringe. But, you can't edit a blank page, so I slop the words on the page like a toddler with finger paints. I can always edit it later. I would NEVER send my editor one of my first drafts. She would freak! :)

    SUSAN! Congratulations on contracting with Bethany! That's super! I'm sure your edits will go great!

  68. Such quality advice here Erica--right on target!

    #2, "Meet your deadlines," is a rule I am fanatical about. I write in Scrivener, which allows me to set a target completion date and target word count, then calculates exactly how many words I have to write each day to meet that deadline. I always set it two weeks to a month EARLIER than my editorial deadline, just so I'll have plenty of time to adhere to rule #5, "Edit your manuscript before you send it in."


  69. Thank you, MYRA! I am insane about deadlines, too. It would about kill me to turn in a book late. Which is why I'm running away to the coffee shop this afternoon while my folks rest. I have a NOV 1st deadline looming and a bit of work left to do on this manuscript before I send it off.

  70. Oh, and Virtual Cupcakes with Sprinkles for Crystal @ Serving Joyfully! Happy Birthday!!!!

  71. Hi Erica! It was so much fun touching base with you at ACFW last month!

    You've put together a great list. I'm sure the editors will be thanking you for it!

    Meeting deadlines is the one thing I strive for. Meeting a deadline with a quality product is at the top of my list.

    Which is why I'm retreating to my writing cave for the rest of the day.

    Send chocolate.

  72. Thanks so much for sharing your good news, Erica. You're an inspiration!

    About #6, when I received line edits for a story in an anthology (years ago) I was so busy with other things I just clicked on 'accept all.' I gathered from the editor's return email that had never happened to her before :-)

    Don't enter me in the drawing -- already have Sagebrush Knights thanks to a friend.

    Nancy C

  73. Erica - thank you for the realistic and inspiring post. We newbies get all focused on getting that first contract - not realizing there is no guarantee for a second one! - Jenna Victoria

  74. JAN, I'm right there with you in the writing cave this afternoon. Let's slay that deadline!!

    NANCY, I bet your editor was surprised! Easiest. Edit. Ever! :D :D :D I hope you enjoyed Sagebrush Knights.

    JENNA, there are no guarantees in this writing life, are there? But as Ruthy says, there are new avenues opening up every day for authors to share their stories. It can be daunting, but it's exciting, too.

  75. I wondered how you knew Erica! The woman is gifted in so many ways--clearly! Ruthy rocks and I can't wait to read her historicals!

    Thank you Nancy C, I appreciate it!

  76. I'm pretty sure that if the writing thing doesn't work out for Ruthy, she could have her own cooking show...of course, the writing thing is going pretty well for her, so it will just have to be The Food Network's loss. :D

  77. I brought mid morning snacks.

    Ruthy's apple pie. Recipe in the Yankee Belle Cafe for yesterday!


  78. I thought Piper was 21 tomorrow?

    Happy Birthday, Piper.

  79. Photogenic. I love

    My secret beauty advisor.

  80. TINA, I have been discovering the joys of PicMonkey lately! It's a fun escape when I need a short break from writing--except it's addicting.

  81. Yes, Tina. My happy 21st is today! I'm a day older than you thought! :)

  82. ERICA!!!!!!! I AM SUCH A SLACKER THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!
    I have excellent excuses which I will spare you but I have to come and say THANKS FOR BEING ON ERICA!

    Love the tips. Love the pictures. Love the fingernails.

  83. Erica and Rose and I have done several signings together. Rose and I don't have so far to go, but I usually feel sorry for Erica....and then after the signing we have LUNCH and then I don't care how far we have to drive.

    Also.......writer's retreat time.

    But where to go now? The last place with the three of us is kinda........out.

  84. But we could see the creepy deer again, so there's always an upside.

  85. AND the Homestead Brides Collection with Erica, Ruthy, Pam and me all together.

    Oh the potential is there for a riot to break out. A GOOD riot of course.

    But still, my gas mask is in the wash and I'm very sensitive to tear gas. So we will have to watch Ruthy EVERY MINUTE!!!

  86. I remember that cinnamon roll bread pudding.

    You know that saying, "When life gives you a lemon make lemonade?"

    Well, when live give Ruthy a lemon she makes Lemon chiffon pie which lemon cream cheese glaze and a lemon filling garnished with...I don't know....lemon fairy dust maybe.

    The woman can cook.

    ps I know NOTHING about left over cinnamon rolls. Such things never have existed in my a child I didn't even know cinnamon rolls were available cold.

  87. Piper you're not really 21 are you?

    Please say that's a when my birthday comes and I say this is my 29th birthday 30 times removed.

  88. I am now carefully and fearfully trying to remember everything I ever said to Piper, whom I assumed was an ADULT!!!!

    Please accept my blanket apologies.

  89. Great post, Erica! Thank you for sharing with us. Please drop my name in the bonnet. :)

  90. Hello Erica!!
    As soon as I saw your name, I thought: Oh, I hope her beautiful fingernails will show in her photo.
    And sure enough, they DO!! Love your fingernails. :)

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful post with us, and CONGRATS on your writing success!! YAY ERICA!!

    I already have (and love!) your book, Sagebrush Knights, so I don't need to be entered in your drawing.
    Thanks again for visiting today!
    Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo

    p.s. I'm setting out a Georgia Peach Cobbler, straight from the oven. Enjoy! ;)

  91. Good to have you here Erica!

    Happy Birthday, Piper!!!

  92. So good to hear your story of success through perseverance. I love the cover of Sagebrush Knights. Please put my name in the drawing!

  93. Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding was to die for....

    Mary's mother's leftover cinny-rolls and a few eggs equate Magic in Nebraska!

    SO GOOD!

    I do love to play in the kitchen, that's a downfall. If I clean the kitchen, it's like an invitation to USE IT AGAIN. It's probably a sickness and you should feel sorry for me.

    Lunch with Erica and Rose and you? I'm there, baby! :)

    I'm planning my spring novella, it's based on one that I came up with for a collection and it DIDN'T GET PICKED!!!!


    But I love the idea, and I'm rolling with it for our spring historical collection.


  94. Patti Jo! Why haven't you guested at Yankee Belle with that Cobbler recipe. I WANT THAT RECIPE~!~ Peaches are ripe right now.

  95. Hilarious, Mary Connealy! And of course I'm not 21! I'm a few *ahem* years older than that.... quite a few actually...more than a few....Lol!

    Thank you for the birthday wishes Jackie!

  96. Happy Birthday Piper, from a fellow October baby. Great month to be born in, all the most creative people I know seem to be born this month.

    Hope your whichever anniversary of your 21st birthday was a really blessed day.

    Erica: Brilliant post! I hope to one day adhere to this list to make my future editors delirious with pleasure that I belong to them.

  97. Mary, darlin'! I thought you were MIA today! :)

    Yeah, I'm thinking that last place is gonna need to be off the list for awhile, but Innspiration was cool. :)

    Ruthy, you are welcome to come to any book signing, any writing retreat, any kitchen of fact, if you clean it, it is certainly an invitation to use it. :D

  98. Anna, your name is in the sunbonnet! :D

    PattiJo! So great to see you again in St. Louis! It's always a pleasure. You have the most delightful accent that I could listen to all day long! :)

    Jackie and Sandy...thanks so much for dropping in on my post!

  99. DebH, I love that...anniversary of your 21st birthday...brilliant! :)

  100. HI Erica! Seems like you received the patience. I can relate to that! Congrats on the new contracts and I look forward to reading your new books!

  101. That was to be the patience lessons. I'm not used to this computer! Sorry for the typos.

  102. I'd love to win the book. Good to know what not to do as an author!

  103. P.S. Happy Birthday Piper!!!!
    (Sticking a few candles in the cobbler so you can make a wish, LOL) ;)
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  104. Erica, congratulations on your new contracts!

    I really like your cover, please enter me.

  105. An interesting post. Throw my name in the bonnet thank you.

  106. Put me in the hat please... great information !

  107. ERICA!!!! I can't believe I missed posting a comment because I READ this fabulous blog on Friday!! But then I realized I skipped on over to your blog via the link provided to read about your good news ... and obviously got sidetracked after I commented there!! DUH!!

    Anyway, your points are well taken and SO very true, especially the one about communicating with your editors -- SO important!!

    Again, SUPER CONGRATS on all your good news, girl -- you ROCK!!