Wednesday, April 11, 2018

To Heed or Not to Heed: Tips on When to Listen to Editors

Well, this is a touchy subject, isn't it? And it's one with no singular answer, so grab some coffee or tea or a diet Mt. Dew like I've got, and let's talk choices. Yours. Theirs. Ours.


First, this post is not meant to throw editors under the bus. 

My editors from Harlequin/Love Inspired, Harper Collins, Waterbrook Multnomah, Waterfall Press, Guideposts, Franciscan, St. Martin's Press (I've been blessed in my career, right???)  and my right-hand indie editor Beth Jamison are great people. They're intuitive about story and usually right about changes that need to be made. I will begin by saying how fortunate I am and have been to work with so many talented women (and no, I've never had a male editor... as yet... so that's kind of funny, right? But publishing is slated at 78% women and the majority of them are white, so that's another blog for another time...) and here's a well-known fact: They bought the book. They bought the concept. They're paying me for an intellectual property and it is now theirs... but I'm the author.

Now there's a ridgepole that even Anne Shirley would love to walk! A fine line indeed.

Editors and agents aren't perfect. If they were, there wouldn't be literally thousands of sad stories about the future bestsellers that get turned down...

I was blessed to be a featured author in this collection with my story entitled "Mary's Girl"... Did you know that they self-pubbed the original edition and sold it out of the trunks of their cars?

  • Kathryn Stockard's "The Help" (60 rejections)
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul (144 rejections)
  • Beatrix Potter (who ended up self-publishing, a true pioneer)
  • Clive Cussler ("many, many rejections")
  • JK Rowling (12 rejections)
  • James Patterson (31 rejections)
  • Stephenie Meyer and her twinkling vampires (14 rejections)
  • William Golding's "Lord of the Flies" (21 rejections)
  • Dr. Seuss (27 rejections)
  • Stephen King's "Carrie" (30 rejections)
  • Margaret Mitchell (unknown number)
  • John Grisham (28 rejections)
  • Madeleine L'Engle (26 rejections)

The list goes on... but bear in mind these are not all editor rejections. Many are agent rejections... and the finished book is probably a very nicely polished version of the author's initial proposal... Polish counts for a lot, but that initial nod...

That first "Yes"!!!!

Becomes the big step forward, the momentum all authors need. Mine came from Melissa Endlich almost nine years ago... and we've been working together ever since.

Now the editorial process steps in. This is the moment that can make or break a new author.*

*Read that spot again. It's important.

My Southern side would say "shush your mouth and fix the book, for pity's sake!"

But I don't have a Southern side, so my Yankee side says "Shut up and fix the book."

Same thing, right? :)

But now and again an author needs to stand his/her ground. Not on every little thing, then you're kind of a boor and you don't want to be a boor, right? Boors are annoying and far too prevalent in some circles. So there's this:

1. Editors generally know their readers
2. Editors know what they like.
3. Editors know how to put the polish on with their fresh          eyes.
4. Editors want to pull out the best of your book.

Those are truisms. But no one is infallible and I've had agents ask me to change books and then the editor asks me to change all the things the agent wanted shifted... sometimes back to where they were. These are people, darlings... with varied opinions... It's not black and white, right or wrong. Just different and your job is learning whom to please... and when to stand firm.

Some stories bite the edge of acceptability. Whether you're writing about a difficult subject, a tough relationship, a lost child, a lost love.... sometimes you need to be straight with the reader to elicit the desired reaction. Your editor may or may not like that. This could be something worth standing your ground on. Telling that particular story, or that part of the story, your way if it evokes the visceral emotion from you that you want to see in the reader. 

I've changed so many things in books. Mostly I'm fine with it, but now and again I know a book is intrinsically right. I know that the hero/heroine will work. I know that the beats are there, page after page... but that's after 40+ books in! 

After being advised to change a heroine's job and half the book at one juncture, I said no... another editor was brought on board to explain to me that it wouldn't work, it couldn't work, and that I was tempting people to break an established code of conduct in a Christian book and that was wrong. 

My answer was still "no".

I changed a great deal of the book, so many great ideas to sharpen it, but that major component stayed. 

I got scolded.

I still said "no".

It was intimated that Christians wouldn't like it.

Um... still "no."

Because I didn't believe any of that. Not a smidge. And when the freelance editor went off on me about using bad language and leading good people astray, I realized we lived on different planets, probably went to very different churches and had very different friends because mine are normal sinners. Like me.

And when the book was given 4 1/2 stars and a Top Pick, I wasn't smug.... Because it was a combined effort. But it was still my book. And I was glad I stood my ground on that part.

If you're indie publishing, how do you know you're presenting your best work? Do you care? This isn't a trick question. Folks read a lot of "okay" books all the time. Nothing wrong with that... but you need to ask yourself that question. "Do I care?"

My answer is a firm yes.

I am constantly reminded of this when I see how dozens of little tweaks advised by my editors put the "shine" on... how changing sentence order or speaking order makes a difference. How reflection placed "here" and not "there" makes a big difference in reader understanding.

I don't do that alone. And when I read an indie book that lacks that polish... that spit-shine... it's like seeing the jewel in the coal... but unable to unlock it.

All authors have these occasional go-rounds with editors. It's normal. It's part of the business.

But it should be rare. If it's not it could be one of these things:

1. You signed with the wrong house and the editor thinks your work stinks but they're stuck with you. Oops.

2. You're an ornery, uppity snip and you think your work is beyond repair.

Wait. That's it????

Um, yayuh. Kind of. Because if the editor doesn't like your work, what in the name of Sam Hill are you doing there???

And if you're an uppity snip who rebuffs advice, you better hope the bestseller list finds you on the first or second book because with so many talented authors out there, what sane editor wants to go through the wringer for a mid-list disaster?

Sound harsh?

Well, this isn't an easy business. And the dream advances that used to exist are fairly non-existent now (with a few handfuls of exceptions including former government employees and their tell-alls that might be more fiction than our stories! Who knows? But they will get the big bucks!!!)

Whichever way this writing path takes you, my advice will always be to take a breath. Do your best work. Trust an editor to polish it, then listen to them... 

Most of the time.

Ruthy is in a good mood today, so she's offering an opening chapter critique to one writer... and a copy of her newest Guideposts mystery "Swept Away" to a reader or writer! Just let her know you want to be considered for one or the other. And if you put in for the critique... Umm... well... good luck with that. (please remember she IS a Yankee....)

Just so you know, Ruthy is absolutely in love with writing mysteries now!!! Who'd have thought it?


With over 40 novels and novellas to her credit, Ruth Logan Herne is living her dream and still pinching herself daily to see if this is indeed real.... Since it is real (YAY!) you'll find her working daily on her pumpkin farm in Western New York where winter snows and long d-a-r-k days give her plenty of time to create unforgettable characters and great books.... follow her on Amazon or BookBub, visit her website, or sign up for her quarterly newsletters by e-mailing her at loganherne@gmail.com... or friend her on facebook where she loves to pray and play with readers and writers!



114 comments:

  1. Love the post! Love your books ☺!
    And I'm doing the very brave thing and entering for the first chapter critique ☺.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WHAT???? Oh you brave and wonderful woman! I'm so proud of you! :) I'm so proud I might even be NICE.... but don't count on it, darling! :)

      Delete
  2. What great advice Ruthy!! It is really hard to know what to do sometimes, I'm not even there yet but I can imagine finding that line will sometimes be very hard!

    Thanks for all your hard work and sharing your experiences!

    I'd love to be considered for the critique.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jess, you, too? TWO BRAVE SOULS IN A ROW... oh, where are my heart pills???? :)

      Nitroglycerin, anyone????

      It is hard to know... and I kind of figure if it's not going to change world peace, just make the change.

      But if it's a hugely intrinsic part of the story and it works.... then it must stay.

      So I don't play that card often, Jess... and I do take Beth Jamison's advice with my indie work, too... because it recharges the focus and helps me to clear up author ambiguities in my head because I've not only written the story by then... I've read it several times and the brain "fills" in the blanks too easily.

      Your name is going in! Brave lass!

      Delete
  3. Love your message, Ruth, you make getting critiqued by an editor, teacher, friend, whomever, almost fun. I am, however, not putting in for the critique, just the free book. Because reading novels by wonderful, talented authors is so much easier than trying to become one myself. 😎

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahahahah! I have to catch up on mailings once I'm back home... Busy month of writing and editing.... Gladly putting your name in for "Swept Away" which people have loved, Merry Lu!

      Delete
  4. Good morning, Seekerville! Coffee and tea are ready, along with some New York bagels, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and the most amazing breakfast burritos. Yes, we're living on the wild side today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could use a little wild side! Not as wild as my last year trip to NYC where they were filming a TV show outside my hotel room in the middle of the night with lights... director voices... "Cut!" "Roll!" through megaphones...

      And I would eat a dozen Krispy Kreme right about now, darling. They melt in your mouth, don't they?

      Delete
  5. Great advice!!! I will get edits back next month and am so nervous! Not scared, nervous. I want the book to be the best is can be, but am nervous about the unknown. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sherrinda, I was SO SCARED with the first major revision.

      "They hate me."
      "I can't write a good second book"
      "They really hate me."
      "They're going to want their contract back. With the money!"
      "I think they really might hate me..."

      With no revisions on book one, book two broadsided me but it helped so much once my heart re-started! :)

      Since then I've had some with no revisions... and many with revisions.

      And I don't worry any more because I know I can change things. Polish them. Think it through...

      But that first one was SO STINKIN' SCARY!!!!

      Delete
    2. Sherrinda, I just did it and I was nervous too. Trust me, you'll be all right. Remember they thought enough of the book to buy it!

      Delete
  6. This is great advice. I'm not at this stage yet, but I hope that when (not if :)) that time comes I'm confident to stand when I need to and humble enough to accept feedback when I need to. Thanks for the advice! And I'll be brave and put my name in for a critique--yikes! LOL

    And Mindy, I'm not sure whether to have Krispy Kreme or a NY bagel--I heart them both and can't get either out here in the boonies. Maybe I'll have one of each, since we're living wild today :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent choice, Glynis. I think I'll do the same. ;)

      Delete
    2. One of each sounds marvelous!!!!

      Delete
  7. Ruthy, this is an excellent post. I still cringe whenever edits come in and I think it's because the edits on my very first book were just plain crazy. The copy editor ravaged the opening line of my book. It was the first thing I saw and I freaked out. I emailed my editor in the midst of my panic attack and she lovingly informed me that it was okay to say no sometimes. Yes, I need to objectively consider what the editor is saying but, in the end, it's my name that's on the book. Boy, was that freeing.

    That said, all those edits work together to make our stories better. Like you said, they polish them. Ever see a plain old rock versus a polished one? The polished one always looks better. The polishing illuminates things that we couldn't see before and brings out the beauty. And we want beautiful books, right?

    Thanks, Ruthy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mindy, yes! That's the heart-stopping moment when we're faced with other people's influence on our work. And with well over 40 stories now, there have only been three times when I had to put up the stop sign.... Two were with free-lance editors who just went crazy overstepping their bounds and I wonder if they were trying to impress the bosses??? or just kind of being jerks? I've been on the planet long enough to know that jerks exist.

      :)

      But that's pretty good for this many books.

      And I keep little stuff all the time... there's always some things I'll "stet" and they're fine with that because I back it up with why it's there... and sometimes go back and foreshadow it up front. So they're right to flag it and me to fix it.

      On the worst possible day we have the best possible job, don't we???

      Delete
  8. Wonderful post, Ruthie! I've learned something from every editor I've worked with. But like you said, there's a time and a place to stand one's ground. That's how fiction changes the world--one brave book at a time :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to see you today! And yes, total agreement... one brave book at a time. :)

      Delete
  9. Perspective from the editing side: this is so true! I recently had a family member ask me if I get upset if an author doesn't take my advice on an editing suggestion.

    My response? No. Not at all. The author knows their audience. The author knows what they are trying to portray...and I am only one person. Perhaps I am not their target audience. Perhaps how I respond to it (as a snarky, in-your-face-Yankee) may not be how others will respond to it. And that's okay.

    I love editing, but it's not my name on the cover of that story.


    On the other hand, I've had authors not take advice that I gave because it would mean a bigger re-write & they were short on time & I think that hurt the story. It would have been stronger had the change been made. But again, not my call. Not my name on the cover of the book.

    I love that Ruthy's writing career has been the catalyst for me launching my own editing career. Certainly not what I pictured myself doing, but I LOVE it!

    No need to put me in for any drawing. I'll just steal a copy of Swept Away from your house, Ruthy! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth, what great perspective and true.

      And Beth touched on something similar to my "Do you care?" question in the post...

      If I need to delay an indie book because I need to re-write the story, I do it and there's a simple reason for that:

      I want every story a reader picks up... even if it's not their favorite Ruthy-story... to be the best I can offer at tugging heartstrings and evoking emotion and timing. And I tend to mess up timing so having editors like Beth and Melissa and Faith Black Ross and Brandy Bruce... just to name a few... has been the best instructional course I could ever get with no cost on my end. These women basically gave me a college degree in editing and I got paid to learn.

      Now that's a win/win.

      Because where are we going if we're not moving forward?

      I like forward.

      This Yankee is not a stand around kind of gal!

      Delete
  10. Ruthy, this post was especially important to me today because I just finished my first-round edits on my first contracted book. I was fortunate that the editor didn't want any changes to the substance of the book. Of course that was after two rounds of revise-and-resubmit, but the changes she asked for then also didn't tamper with the core of the story. The changes in the first-round edits were in grammar, style, some tightening and the like (ELLIPSES, M-DASHES AND SENTENCE FRAGMENTS, OH MY). The changes did make it a better book, just as contest feedback and crit groups also make books better. But you also have to listen to your own voice. Anything that steals the soul of your book isn't worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kaybee!!! Good for you! Fixing the mechanics of the work just makes good sense so the reader gets the full appreciation of what the story's about and not jerked out of place for little things. And like I said, I only had to do the "stand your ground" thing in three books out of so many... Sometimes it's not the "soul" of the book that gets affected, it's the way of telling. I've learned that sometimes I need to shift the way I'm telling the story. It might remain essentially the same story... but my direction in telling it might be altered. And that's okay, I've learned there are lots of ways to tell a great story...

      I am so proud of you!!!

      Delete
  11. Ruthy, I love your transparency and willingness to "tell it like it is." That ol' saying... "Pick and choose your battles wisely" can apply to most of life, but I'm sure it's certainly true in publishing. I'm approaching this new phase in my career with an open mind and a receptive heart.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. Polishing and making a book the best it can be is one thing. A really GREAT thing. Totally changing the concept of the story? That would unnerve me.

    I really appreciate this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cynthia, good morning! I'm so glad to see you here, and you're right, choosing our battles... gosh we learn to do that as wives and mothers and husbands, don't we? :)

      I survived my first complete re-writes years ago and figured they were part of the learning process...

      After they performed CPR on me! :)

      Every now and again I miss the mark.... and that's on me. But every now and again it's not me missing the mark and I'm okay with holding firm in that case.

      Thanks for stopping in today!

      Delete
  12. Everything you’ve said is so true. I am also entering for a chapter critique.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patti, hi! I'm so glad you're here.... And I'm tucking your name right in there! Thank you for your kind words, my friend...

      Delete
  13. Hi Ruthie. Great post. Some authors are so sensitive, they let editors and reviewers destroy them, so we all need to be reminded we have the last word. Since you asked, I'm an indie author and yes I care, but there's another thing I have to consider--time. I don't have time for 25 rejects. Nor have I ever used an editor. I do have critique partners and proof-readers. But I have about 40 years of writing experience myself and I trust my inner voice. I have to go through a ms about 25 times before it's polished enough and an editor could cut that down to 5 maybe, but I learn more doing it myself and my reviews are about as good as other authors, indie or trad. I'd love to get in the drawing for your mystery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elaine, I'm so glad you said that.... and yes, your experience and talent are unique to this business.... so in your case the critiquers and proof readers could be enough because they're acting in the editorial function for you. Few authors have that kind of experience.... and you know that not all have that kind of drive. But for some, there are those points they won't see without guidance or fresh eyes. I think your crew does the same thing for you... and your work is lovely so between you all, you've got this. And that's the clutch thing.... to be able to bring the polished work to the table, one way or another. That's a great thought, Elaine... and I'm tucking your name in right now!

      Delete
  14. Thank you for this great article. I had recently entered a harlequin blitz and had made it to round 2 when the editor came back with critique that totally made sense. After thinking through her comments my novel is taking a completely different shape. They are good at what they do! I would like to enter for a chapter critique.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martin, hey! I don't know you.... but I'm tucking your name in right now. If you come back (and aren't shy!) tell us a little about yourself.

      First, congratulations on making it to Round 2!!! We've done Harlequin contests here, and several of us were published with Love Inspired and other publishers through contests, so we love 'em! We think that's a great way to gain momentum, garner attention and get a solid critique or R&R (revise and resubmit).... They are good at what they do.

      And sometimes when I start to view one of my books through their eyes, I can see how it can blossom even more... and how I can take it to a higher level as an author.

      And so we learn as we go!

      Welcome to Seekerville!

      Delete
    2. Martin.... are you related to the famous hockey player, darling? Are you the famous Hall-of-Fame shoe in???? Or is this a great pen name for someone who just loves hockey???

      Delete
    3. Thanks for replying Ruth! Martin is my husband - I just haven`t figured out how to get my info to input instead of his (my name is Lee-Ann Brodeur :) ). Martin Brodeur is a common name in Quebec (kind of like John Smith) so we`ve had lots of fun making reservations south of the Canadian border through the years. My husband does play ice hockey but he`s centre, not goal.
      Thanks for the encouragement. I`ve been reading Seekerville for just about a year now and have been surprised to find out how many Christian Romance authors have gotten their start through Harlequin Love Inspired. I didn`t know that Harlequin had a faith based line UNTIL I discovered Seekerville (through Writer`s Digest Magazine`s 101 best websites list last year). So, my goal for 2018 has been to complete a manuscript for submission to Harlequin, hoping to get my foot in the door that way. I can`t remember a time when I didn`t want to write. As a kid, I`d write a `novel` each summer and as a teen I worked for our school paper (and was accepted into college for journalism but chose music instead). My career saw me writing for non-profits, and as a Stay At Home Mom of four, I`ve submitted articles to our local Multiple Births chapter on issues facing parents of multiples (am the happy Mom of twins!), for one of which I received an honorable mention in WD`s Competition last year which was the kick in the pants to say, you can do it! (And God`s timing kind of affirming that this is the direction I should pursue in this season of life). So, that`s me in a nutshell.
      When I saw Harlequin`s Romance Line Blitz, I jumped on the bandwagon `just to test the waters` to see if I had what it takes to write romance. The feedback in round one was encouraging, as well as the feedback in round two. The response was a major rewrite is needed but submit again in the future.... It was a bit tough to swallow but considering I`d thrown four chapters together in a little over three weeks with four little ones to look after I was pleased with the critique. So, now I`m taking to heart what they suggested and just taking my time re-writing (and also trying to apply GMC!).
      Thanks again for your posts. I can honestly say I`ve gleaned a lot about the craft of writing from all the Seekers.

      Delete
    4. Lee-Ann, it's so nice to meet you! Welcome aboard! And I'm so glad you found us... It's a great place to work toward and then meet that goal... and we're living proof. I've got over twenty Love Inspireds now, so does Debby Giusti, and we've loved working with them.... You're among friends here! :) And they gave me a start when other doors clicked firmly shut, so that's a huge thing for an author. And my Love Inspired readers are such delightfully normal people... Walmart shoppers! Grocery shoppers! Just like me! And in its own way, writing "short" can be even trickier than writing long because we have to make every word count... but it's a great skill to have in the arsenal.

      So Martin Brodeur is a common name! Who knew????

      Well, you're never common here, and I'm so glad you're among us.

      Welcome to Seekerville, Lee-Ann!

      Delete
  15. Hi Ruth! This is timely advice as I’m waiting for my first set of edits to come at the end of this month. It’s a bit of a nail-biter because the editor who bought my book has just been promoted and a new editor assigned to my book. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. Thanks for sound advice in this post and please put my name in for your mystery.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Laurie! I'm so excited for you, this is the polar bear story, isn't it? And a reunion romance???? I love reunion romances, silly people who don't know enough to stay in love the first time... and then God gives them a second chance.

    Go God! :) Huge congrats to you... and whichever editor you get, we just take a deep breath... and let them do their "thing".... and a few more deep breaths.

    Honestly, after my first major revisions, I got over my palpitations and dug in... And we add wisdom and experience to our cache of talent as we go!

    Happy dancing for you!!! Tossing you in for that mystery....

    ReplyDelete
  17. Interesting post. Would love to be entered in the giveaway. I always thought I’d want to be an editor as a second career when I’m retired from my first career but now I’m having second thoughts....;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahahaha! I bet the editors would tell you they love it. Like really, really love it. :) They get to boss around authors. What could be more fun than that??? :)

      I'm tucking you in, Mindy. Even as I discourage your dreams! :) LAUGHING!!!!

      Delete
  18. Great post, Ruthy!

    I always appreciate what editors do. Like you said earlier, we know our story so well after writing, re-writing, and polishing it up before sending it to our editors that our minds "fill in the blanks."

    If my editor doesn't understand what I was trying to say in a certain scene or paragraph, I figure the reader won't either. So I change things. I take advice. The main thing is to get the story to the reader, right?

    But once in a while, I'll defend my position or my word choices. I may edit it to make it clearer before I run it past the editor again, but some things need to remain the way they are.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan! How are you feeling???? I'm so sorry you got sick, and here I am telling the world.... Are you better now??? I hope so.

      Jan, that's my take on it too. If the editor doesn't get it... then how will readers? So those tweaks are a given. But like you said, I will sometimes leave in a colloquialism or something fun or out of the ordinary to pique reader's curiosity.... and that's kind of fun, too.

      :)

      Sending you get well wishes!!!

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your get well wishes!

      I feel pretty lousy, but better than I did yesterday. My dear husband says I was sicker than I wanted to admit, and that's probably true. None of us can afford to be sick, can we?

      So I'm writing. And resting. And resting. And eating a lot of chicken soup.

      I am SO TIRED of chicken soup!

      And meanwhile, Erica and Mary are eating steak. At a fancy restaurant. Together. Without us.

      That just isn't fair, is it???

      Delete
    3. You're sick?! Jan!! I had no idea! Do you need anything? I mean other than chicken soup....

      Delete
    4. LOL! I have plenty of chicken soup. All I need right now is time, rest, and many words on the page every day. That isn't much, is it?

      Delete
    5. Oops, did I out you, Drexler???? Sorry!!!! Now the world knows, but gosh, there are still too many silly bugs going around the northern states... And Xanto. Mustn't forget the oncoming BLIZZARD. Ay yi yi.

      Delete
  19. Love this post. I am going to be brave and ask for a critique. So far this has only been read by a critique group. I am making note if they say a scene should be deleted. I feel like I need to get a few more opinions, but if someone else also says the same thing then there is most likely validity for it. Does this make any sense.

    I am wondering how buying books on Guideposts works. I was given a copy of a book in the series you are writing. I love this book. I am wanting to read the whole series now. Do you order the first book and then all the others are automatically sent or do you have to order each one individually?

    I also have a question that is off topic but a concern. I was one of the people who's facebook account was compromised. Friends are wanting to leave Facebook and if I didn't feel I need it as an author and reader, I might be tempted. How will this affect the writing community. I wasn't the one who added the bad app. but one of my friends did. Thankfully I am circumspect about what I put on. They got my birthdate which may be a bad thing and my hometown. They weren't clear on what I could do about it. Nevertheless it is not a good feeling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's start with YAY! I'm putting you in the cowboy hat for the critique, pretty lady! And my rule of thumb with scenes is that if they're not really pushing things forward... not thought or backstory slow-down stuff.... Toss 'em. Think of your favorite books, shows and movies. If they boored you, you wouldn't be lovin' on them.

      Guideposts question I am consulting the geniuses at Guideposts to see if you have to just order the ones so far individually.... but we'll see. Book 2 is Janice Thompson's "Like a Fish Out of Water".... I contacted the bosses there and we'll see what they say!

      Now facebook. Darling I've got no advice there. I use it to connect with readers and writers and family. I use my professional name for all of it. I love it... but I don't like what they've done, I think they're crazy greedy and once someone figured out how to monetize it by selling our information as gleaned, then the old adage "you don't get somethin' for nothin'" comes into play.

      But if it's just that you got hacked, Wilani, I think that happens to most of us every year or 18 months... it's a pain but there's not much to do about it.

      There are goons everywhere, Sweet Wilani!

      Delete
    2. Wilani, I sent you an e-mail about the Guideposts books! They're happy to help you start at book 2. I love those guys!

      Delete
  20. Ruthy, I value honest advice from an author with your experience. I enjoyed working with my editor 99% of the time, but I was uncertain how much room I had to negotiate the 1% of changes she suggested that I didn't agree with. Thankfully, I was brave enough to defend my writing and she was willing enough to listen and discuss. This is a great post for new authors. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my stars, you are so welcome. It's hard to know what you don't know until you're suddenly thrust into the work force with THE CALL!!!! YIPPEE!!!! But there is so very much to learn about after THE CALL!!!!

      Delete
  21. What an excellent (and might I mention well-timed) post, Ruthy! Recently the contest that I entered one of my stories into ended and I wasn't a winner. Or a finalist. Or an honorable mention. But I was going to get feedback from the judge and I had already made up my mind to indie publish it so I was okay. Until I got the feedback from the judge and she... well she didn't like my story. And so I've been struggling with trying to figure out what of her feedback to use because it seems that everything she didn't like about my story was the stuff that I liked. And what I didn't like was what she liked.

    Please enter my name *gulp* for the critique :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicki, I'm putting it in right now, sweet thing... because you know how much I love your work. So here's the thing... I realized years ago that there were some very nice, smart folks I couldn't critique with... their take on characters wasn't anything that worked for me, nor mine for them... and we parted. Because sometimes it's not the writing, it's the characters grating on nerves... so a kick-butt heroine isn't necessarily going to appeal to a soft-hearted writer/author.... because his/her heroines are busy trying to figure out how to get through a day.

      Those are both GOOD VANTAGE POINTS but probably not copacetic, you know what I mean? I'm glad you stopped in and glad you entered a contest. You never cease to amaze me, Nicki!

      Delete
  22. Hey, Ruthy, very nice, very smart post. So much truth.
    ps i'm sitting in a coffee shop writing with ERICA VETSCH. Neener, neener, neener.
    We are going to hear LEE CHILD, the Jack Reacher guy, tonight. I mentioned I was going and Erica said 'I WANT TO COME!!!' And now here we are having a blast! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I was there with you ladies!! I bet you'd both keep me in stitches laughing.

      Have a great time!

      Delete
    2. I have so many VERY BAD WORDS TO SAY TO YOU RIGHT NOW but we're in public, so I can't. BRATS!!!! Da bode o' youse!

      :)

      And I know who Lee Child is, dork.... and I think this is so cool that you guys are going to see/hear him. He should be coming to see YOU. :) That's how much I love me some Erica and Mary stories!

      Have fun!!!!

      And you took Erica to our place for steak....

      I don't think I can forgive that, Mary. ;)

      Delete
    3. :) I'm so excited about both hanging out with Mary and getting to see LEE CHILD that I can hardly sit still and focus on the writing I should be doing....

      Delete
    4. I'm never sure how famous Lee Child is. I try his name out on people, then I say Jack Reacher and their eyes focus and they say, "Oh yeah!"

      Delete
    5. I haven't gotten her a Lithuanian torte yet, Ruthy. So can you now forgive me??? I have kept that special just for you.

      Delete
    6. Remember to take pictures of Lee...with both of you standing next to him. Okay? Really, I want pictures!!! :)

      Delete
    7. No torte???? I am feeling so much better now! :) ERICA... why hasn't she gotten you Lithuanian torte? WHAT KIND OF FRIEND IS SHE?????

      Enjoy your time tonight, my friends!

      Lee who????

      Delete
  23. I love reading your posts, Ruthie. When my editor told me to change the name of one of my characters in An Unexpected Legacy, I tried to fight her on it. She pointed out that the name was too similar to the main character and might confuse readers. I finally gave in and now am fine with it. Especially since reading some books since then with similar character names that did indeed have me pausing to figure out who was who. Thank God for editors who remind us not everyone knows what we saw in our heads when writing that first draft so they can help us hone it and make it even better.
    Please enter me for the critique giveaway. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, Amy. I just said that same thing about having things in my head that fail to make it on the page.

      Delete
    2. Oh, Amy... that is one of Melissa's favorite lines to me... "Ruthy... what's in your head simply has to be on the page. Unless you'd like us to insert a little CD with each book explaining your thoughts..." :)

      I can totally relate!!!!

      Delete
  24. Ruthy, this is such good advice. I always consider what an editor says. And if I don't agree exactly, I try to find the reasoning behind the requested edit and see if I can fix it in another way possibly. I always take the feedback seriously, because if the editor sees a problem, then a lot of readers might as well. So often I find that what was in my head never ended up on the paper! No wonder the reader (editor) gets confused. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Missy, exactly! And that's a huge help to readers, just to have that new set of eyes that makes sure we're dotting the i's and crossing t's and getting things done. And for me, timelines... (although I've gotten better!!!) and ages in series.... sometimes I forget things like birthdays... dogs... babies! :)

      Delete
  25. Good advice! I tell myself that my editor's motives are pure, we both want the same thing, a good book that readers will enjoy. Knowing when to push back on edits is something I've learned over time...and one of my editors told me once that I had clout and I should use it if I disagreed with a suggested edit. I was like "I do? I have clout? When did that happen?" lol!

    She still loves me, even though I'm a bit dim from time to time. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've got clout???

      WHO KNEW?????

      :)

      Well, we're so intimidated as newbies... unless we're too stuck on ourselves. That can be problematic all around. But arguing? Or sticking my oar in??? :)

      EEK!

      It's nice to be beyond most of that now... And nice to know my editors, to have a good working relationship with them. Great ladies!

      Delete
  26. Thanks for your post! I would love my name tossed in the hat for the critique. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Consider yourself entered, my dear, brave soul! :) And you're welcome!

      Delete
  27. A good editor is worth her weight in gold! Right?

    Love my editor. She understands story and readers, which means a win-win for me. She's almost always right. That being said, sometimes I go with my gut...but it's rare that we don't see eye to eye.

    Interesting post, Ruthy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debby, I've found the same things overwhelmingly. It was just those few instances of power struggle and I had to really think hard about my responses... and what led up to them.

      Because in two cases the editors gave me really good other stuff that I incorporated... In one case, she was just an unhappy person with issues... But I always focus on the 40+ wonderful experiences. That's pretty sweet, right???

      Delete
  28. Thank you for such an interesting and informative post, Ruthy! You said: "I've had agents ask me to change books and then the editor asks me to change all the things the agent wanted shifted... sometimes back to where they were." I've not had this happen with editors, but the same thing happened to me with contest judges. It was baffling, and a little frustrating, but I knew that each one meant well, and was only try to help me craft a better story. In the end, I had to "go with my gut" as far as which one was correct, and just hope and pray I made the right decision.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura, yes. There was no harm or malice intended, it was just different opinions. And again, that made it a good learning experience. If only I'd learned some of this stuff a few years earlier??? Ay yi yi!!!

      Delete
  29. Love her posts so interesting, Swept away as I am a reader.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kim! And I'm putting your name in that Swept Away cowboy hat right now! Thank you so much for coming by today... and for chatting!

      Delete
  30. Great post and I loved reading the comments. I don't have anything for you to critique so I'll just throw my name in for your book. I'm glad that you stick to your guns because we sure love the results!
    Blessings!!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Connie, that is so sweet of you to say. Thank you! You made me smile because I love what I'm doing. I am so blessed.

      Tucking your name into the cowboy hat.... Because my next series for Love Inspired is a Western series and a girl's got to get these cowboy hats broke in, just right! :)

      Delete
  31. Ruthy, I admire how willing you are to help other writers...and admire the great working relationship you and Beth have! Please drop my name in for Swept Away. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you, Jackie!!! What a nice thing to say. We pretend well on line, darling. ;)

      Kidding....

      And happily tucking your name into the Swept Away cowboy hat drawing!

      Delete
  32. Ruthy, Thanks for this great article! I think you left out another option. You could have a publisher who is using freelance editors and one specific editor may not "get" your work and have issues and you might by chance get that freelancer a few times and both of you are getting frustrated. See where I'm going with this? You could have three of their freelance editors be easy to work with and one be a "repeat offender" and that's a tricky situation. So in that case, everything you said in this article really applies wherein the writer may have to push back, since it is their story. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie, that's such a good point! Yes, when companies/publishers outsource editing, it can be luck of the draw... I had a friend (I know, I know... SHOCKER!!!) :) This friend worked with a specific editor... and then on a project another editor was assigned... and that editor hated his work. He didn't SAY that, but the entire manuscript was redlined beyond recognition....

      But then the original editor sent my friend a note, telling him "Pay no attention to this.... Ignore..." And then followed up with his much lighter remarks, more normal.

      Every now and again there are power-hungry editors and occasionally they're frustrated authors who didn't quite make it.... that's a killing combination right there.

      Carrie, great points, I'm so glad you chimed in!

      Delete
    2. We all can be affected by our moods and our mind-set, too, and I've been guilty of that in the editing process. I self-edited a manuscript that had already been through a (paid) freelance editor but I had to cut material and in the process I ended up "viciously" self-editing what was in there. So if the publisher's in-house editor had done to my MS what I had done to it, I'd have been extremely upset (mark-up all over every single page). BTW THANKS for all you do in 1K1HR! You're a blessing!

      Delete
  33. Commenting super late today because I have spent the WHOLE DAY working up the courage to put my name in the hat for a Ruthy Yankee-style critique. *Cue fingernail chewing*

    But I'm gonna do it.

    I'm also glad I read through the comments and realized I'm not the only one who's terrified! Solidarity!

    Ok... I'm going to go work furiously on that chapter...ahem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terror is good.

      Terror breeds assent.

      Unless you're a marine. In which case it breeds cunning.

      If you're not a marine, Brummer.... ooooo.... are you in big trouble! :)

      Laughing! Good to see you here today and I'm tucking your name in!!! I wish I could do one for everyone who is daring today... wouldn't that be so nice????

      I've got to catch up on my mailings for the past two months.... Kathy Bailey reminded us today and she's the first one on my still "to do" list, so I'm a dreadful, terrible person! :) But the plus side is that my current novels are all turned in and edited but one and I can breathe.... happily! :) So I'll catch up on that this coming week...

      When I get back home.

      Now back to Brummer....

      Be afraid.

      Be very afraid. :)

      Delete
    2. I'm shaking in my boots, Ruthy! Haha :)

      Also, I feel like I need to salute you or something...

      Delete
    3. Let's save the salutes for the military. They actually earn them! But when I come out west, I want to come to your ice cream shop and buy ice cream!!!! I'm hoping for next spring, Megan... Late April, early May, before we start planting...

      Delete
  34. Ruthy, as a writer who has not crossed over to pubbed island yet, I read with eager eyes the wonderful advice you shared. And I absorbed every word. Thank you for the perspective you shared. I learn so much from you, and I love the advice you shared about knowing your story. And of course I have a chapter to throw into that writing critique hat. That's my goal for the rest of the year is to start listening more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tanya, that's such a great goal. Oh my stars, it's something that I struggle with because I talk too much, but... like you... I realized several years ago that if I listen more... and keep working to improve, produce and have fun... that the listening helps me to captain my own ship.

      That listening is clutch... and sometimes, when you're as CLOSE as you are, it's not about you.

      It's about having the right manuscript on the right desk at the right time.

      I didn't get the call from Love Inspired until there was an editorial change. (and this is not a slam on the former editor, a lovely woman, but I had sent her some dreadful stuff!!! So by the time I got polished, I think she saw my name and just cringed.... so that was my fault. Not hers)

      The reason I can say this is because once a door opened, it was opened wide and the new staff was ready to re-visit all of those stories.... and bought several.

      And then other publishers bought other ones.

      There's only a handful that didn't sell, and those I turned into new stories, and so much better than the original.

      :)

      Sometimes it's not about our work... it's about the timing.

      Praying for your timing, just like so many prayed for mine!

      Delete
  35. Hi Ruthy, I'd love to win a critique on the first chapter of my WIP.

    Great post today. It's always great to hear your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jackie, I saw that beautiful family pic on facebook... loved it!!!!!

      And thank you for your kind (as always!) words... I'm tucking your name right into the hat!!!

      Delete
  36. Hi Ruth:

    A Marketing Danger of Indie Books for Established Authors!

    Compare editors and music studios. There are some successful singers who are called 'studio singers' because they can only sound good (saleable) when they record in a studio with heavy use of retakes and reverberation. These singers cannot go live and tour. Some try it using lip-sync and often get caught.

    Recently I have discovered there are authors that are like 'studio singers'. These writers must publish with acomplished editors. In the last few months I've read three Indie books by very good traditional authors that were so bad, with so many faults, that if they were the first books I've read by those authors, I would never read another of their books.

    These books did not have typos. They had good line editors. But they did have major story faults and historical mistakes which you'd think any good content editor would have objected to. Maybe such editors did object but the writer had the luxury to not listening. I don't know.

    I know as a marketing person that such books can kill the sales of those authors' very good backlist of traditional books. This is the opposite of what those authors intended.

    A new author does not have to worry about this as there is no backlist at risk. But established authors should be very careful about the greater editorial freedom Indie books provide.

    Be honest. Are you a 'studio singer'? And if you are, will anyone dare tell you this? Will your support group write good reviews for any book you write? Are you working hard to market a book that will kill sales?

    As a marketing person I hate to see this type of situation. I believe this negative possibility should be considered by every traditional author with a valuable backlist.

    Vince


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, these are such good points.... Vince, I'm so glad you chimed in.

      I've seen the same thing on occasion, hence my warning that your author buddy might not tell you the truth because they won't risk the friendship... and some authors revel in the freedom of no editor....

      But I also just read a traditionally pubbed Christian book, a "suspense" of sorts that was so heavy on the writer's vast knowledge of history, the Bible, the Holy Land, and the city of origin that the author left no room for the story. It wasn't suspenseful because the few moments of suspense were cloaked in way too many words. And then they were gone "poof!" with the wind.

      I wanted to send the author to Debby Giusti and Shirlee Mccoy for lessons.

      Then I had to think "Would a regular reader feel this way? Or do you feel this way because you're an author?"

      Hmm....

      Maybe you and I aren't fair judges of things. We know too much, maybe? Because readers are doing some old-fashioned loving on books that are kind of thin conceptually, but maybe they're looking for an easy read?

      If nothing else I've learned that this business offers opportunity to all kinds of books and authors. So indie is a huge plus for that.

      But your wise words about treating our back list with care is a great point.

      Delete
    2. Hi Ruth:

      You wrote: "But I also just read a traditionally pubbed Christian book, a "suspense" of sorts that was so heavy on the writer's vast knowledge of history, the Bible, the Holy Land, and the city of origin that the author left no room for the story."

      This sounds like James Michener! It seems I had to read 100 pages of how Hawaii was formed before the story starts! And how about the "Source"?

      Some people read historical fiction for the history. I even had a librarian, when I was a kid, tell me to read all the historical fiction I could because that was a way to study history that was fun. "Just get good writers!"

      I've done that ever since. So if your writer above always does that with her books, then her readers are getting what they expect and love. My big complaint is a lack of history in historical romances! I just read a 'historical' where one of the heroes is a newspaper editor in a year that President Johnson was being impeached, President Grant was being elected, and a major city in that state was being founded, and not a word about these events and no other history that I could discerned either. Also some of the characters were speaking 2018 PC language! An editor was needed! But that's just me. :)

      You're right in that readers will differ with the amount of facts in a historical. Some want more history and some want less. This is why it is important for an author to know her readers. Really know them in a marketing sense.

      BTW: I like facts in a historical that will astound the reader like having Oscar Wilde come up to a couple in a café in a small western town where he actually was when he was on tour in America. Perhaps a couple after a lecture are talking about how funny Mark Twain was…even quoting some of his funny lines. Make the reader feel smarter for having read your historical!

      Vince

      Delete
    3. I love Michener and Wouk... their historical descriptions pulled me right into the story, like wandering into another sphere... no, if this book had done that, it would have been fine. It didn't. The information was kind of pushed in, the way an author does when they're kind of showing off their vast knowledge of a subject...

      But not in a storyteller fashion.

      Michener was an artist with words. Wouk pulled history out of the backstory and made it relevant to everything.

      In defense of your historical author, if it wasn't an indie book, sometimes things get edited out if not referring to the romance because of word count, but I agree. Adding in political or factual references helps to set the reader more firmly in the place and time, exactly what we want to do. I loved adding in women's suffrage parts to some of my Western historicals and I can't wait to get back to that series in 2019... those books are calling me to finish them!

      I generally find that if I'm floundering about how much history to put in, I've probably put enough if it's a romance... now a saga would be different.

      But back to this traditionally published book... I've read indies that were better. Much better. Not preferentially, just better written.

      And I've read some that were worse.

      But I think that's always been the way with publishing, hasn't it? That not all books appeal to all readers, which makes a broad range of diversity especially appealing.

      I do miss bookstores. I loved prowling in bookstores. J.B. Dalton, Walden, Barnes&Noble.... but when B&N kind of shoved the other two out of business... and then got shouldered aside by Amazon...

      We are living the evolutionary phase of publishing, my friend. And it's a wild roller coaster of a ride!

      Delete
    4. Hi Ruth:

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I would have thought that you would not like Michener or Wouk.

      So maybe it's not too much or too little history but rather the appropriate use of history relative to the story needs that makes the difference. I'm good with that.

      Yet I think a lack of history, in something marketed as historical fiction, is not a matter of taste so much as it is a desire by the author not to have to do the research or face the likelihood of making factual mistakes. If there is no history, there is no chance of making historical mistakes.

      I'm just asking for some history in historical fiction.

      Delete
  37. Great post, Ruthy. I'm not a writer (except for reviews of books. Maybe you could critique one of those for me)! I could use another Ruthy book, though, so throw my name in the hat for that, please! Hugs, sweet friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahahahahah! I love your reviews, Winnie! :) Thank you so much for all you do for Christian fiction and authors and spreading the word. You're wonderful.

      Tossing your name into the hat for the book! And thank you for taking the time to come by today!

      Delete
  38. Ruthy this is such good wisdom and insight into what really happens. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just saw your nice facebook post about this, thank you, Barbara! What a sweetheart you are!

      Delete
  39. Hi! I'd like to enter for the 1st chapter critique- if it is still open as I'm unable to check my email every day- although with so many ahead of me I'm probably crazy to even try.

    I read one of your books for the first time the other day and loved it. I'd love to get another one of your books too. Thanks!

    So glad I found you guys as I'm the lone writer living in the wilderness (I do have a house and electricity) in the TN mountains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, mountain girl! Of course I can put your name in, Dorcas! I'm so glad you found us! Happy dancing! And I'm so glad you loved the book.... That makes my day! What do you write? And I've seen those gorgeous TN mountains, stretching up from your neck of the woods to where I've set a bunch of books, the Northern tier of Appalachia.... We're connected by a mountain range and so much more!

      Welcome to Seekerville!

      Delete
    2. Hi, Dorcas! We met years ago, I think through FHL. It's so good to see you again!!

      Delete
  40. So...all day yesterday, I tried to stop by for a visit. But it was one of those non-stop days. By the time I finally sat down at my computer, I couldn't keep my eyes open.I am one day late to the party, but I'm so, so glad I came. This post is wonderful, Ruthy. I appreciate your wisdom in knowing when to/not to say no to an editor. I think, if/when I finally get published, that will be a hard thing for me. I tend to trust those who know better than me. Perhaps if/as I grow in confidence, I'll know when it's okay/good to say no. :)

    I would love to be in the draw for a first chapter critique. I like your critiques. :) They make my writing better. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeanne, I love the grace of time with these two-day posts... even though we slip guests in on Tuesdays and Thursdays from time to time and that takes us back to one-day... but it's fun to give folks time to stop by, isn't it?

      Tucking your name into the queue. I always want to say "kway" with that, like "Chevrolet" or "Monet", and yet it's "kyoo" which just seems short-sighted, doesn't it? :)

      I am not an arguer... I'm very okay with switching things up (although those three editors would probably roll in the dirt, laughing at that assertion, Jeanne!)....

      But if you talk with the other ones, they'd agree because their changes made perfect sense. And helped deepen the book's message and my storytelling abilities.

      The other side of that is that I love getting paid, so arguing with the hand that feeds me would be (whispers....) stupid. Right??? :)

      Delete
  41. How did I miss this post yesterday?

    Ruthy, I'm glad you stood up for not changing your story when you believed it in. And you're right, as a newbie it's real hard to stand up because I'm still trying to figure this thing out and they're the professional.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Connie, hi!

      You know it's hard to know what the inside of any business is really all about until you experience it.... and part of our mission in Seekerville is to make it less scary... and to offer greater insight. So many authors (new authors, mostly) break under the pressure... maybe they don't realize the "dream come true" comes with expectations and timelines and deadlines and change... and gosh, I could name several aspiring authors right now who hate to make deep changes.... And they're often required, right?

      But every once in a while there's a change worth standing for...

      That's the rare thing, but in a few cases I've been glad that I used my insight and common sense to make the choices. So glad you found us today, Ms. Connie!

      Delete
  42. This is fantastic information for us writers breaking into the writing field. Thanks so much for your honesty! I'd love to be entered totwin either prize.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erin, hi! I think this is the first time we've met, and I'm so happy that you stopped by. Thanks for that! Okay, I'm putting your name in for both... if you've got a minute, tell us what you write.... or anything you'd like to say about yourself. And if you're shy...

      Well, that's fine, too!

      Welcome!

      Delete
  43. Ruthy thank you for the facts. I have to say it all makes me nervous! I am so far away from the road, but so grateful to your guidance. I'm glad you stood your ground and knew when you should do so. Thanks also for the reminder of the experience that gave you that confidence! I don't have a chapter yet so please toss me in the hat for Swept Away. Some day I will definitely be eagerly entering for that critique. Thanks lovely Ruthy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kelly, so nice to see you! Don't be nervous. And by that I mean we all get a little nervous (or a lot) and that's normal... but it's never the end of the world... and there's always options now, so if the fit isn't right we've got open doors.... Putting you in the cowboy hat for Swept Away!!!!

      Delete
  44. I love how you tell it like it is, Ruthy. Since I have nothing of note for critiquing, I would cover a copy of your newest Guidepost release. Thanks for all the save advice and telling it like it is. One day I hope to make use of your hard learned wisdom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb, hey!!!! When the time is right, you'll know it. I waited until the youngest was 16... because a mom can only do so much. God gave me time and I'm happily using it now. You know you've got the talent... now you're just waiting on the opportunity.

      So glad to see you!

      Delete
    2. I would covet, covet a copy of your latest... Not cover. Blast that auto correct...

      Delete
  45. Hey Ruthy, I'm just catching up on all my blogs and such after returning home Tues night. I love your common sense approach to writing, and everyday life. Sometimes you just have to follow your heart and stick to your guns when you KNOW what you have written will touch readers. I'm so glad you know when to do that, your writing has always touch me deeply and if someone's opinion of what readers want can change that too much, you readers would be missing a very important, intrinsic part of who you are. May it never be! Please include me for Swept Away, thanks! I love that you are delving into mystery, yay!

    ReplyDelete