Friday, July 24, 2015

Read Your Book Again and Again and Again

I groaned at the email from my editor, Stacy Dawn. And I love my editor. But when I saw the subject line "Post-War Dreams Final Galley"...well, I just couldn't help feeling despair mixed with elation. I have to read my book, yet again.

It's not that I think the book is boring. It's not that I'm unhappy with the finished product. But consider this - Post-War Dreams was the first book I wrote nearly ten years ago. I shopped it to agents for a year or so. After numerous rejections, I rewrote the book. Then I shopped it to a few publishers. I was told it not the right era for historical or the main characters were too young or even though the main characters were young, they acted as adults and teens wouldn't identify with them. I put it away for a year. By then, after all those edits, I'd read it at least a dozen times if not more.

One day, I dug it out, read, and edited it yet again with good results. A very small publisher in Minnesota liked it and published it as women's fiction under the title Honey On White Bread. But it didn't do well. The publisher didn't really have a large women's fiction line. I'd always loved the story and my characters. The publisher kindly gave me back my rights and I turned to the publisher of my other books, TWRP, The Wild Rose Press.

TWRP has expanded their genres, and now haas a Vintage line, perfect for a 1945 historical. When my editor read the book, she loved it and performed her magic. Stacy knew just what changes it needed to make this novel come up to the level of writing I've achieved over the last ten years. But since TWRP contracted the book, now titled Post-War Dreams, I've read it four more times. This last read is to catch any typos or mistakes not caught the last million times. And guess what...I'm finding a few.

But wait! Not only am I reading Post-War Dreams again, Stacy says she'll be sending The Legacy of Love and Murder, third book in the series, to me in the next few days for the first round of edits.

With two books in edit mode, I really can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Someone check on me if you haven't heard from me in a week!

Post-War Dreams Vintage Romance (release date coming soon)

World War II has ended and the soldiers are coming home. After years of following her crop worker father, motherless Claire Flanagan is also coming home. If she can keep her father in one place long enough, she plans to follow her dreams to Hollywood. Until she meets Benjamin.

Benjamin Russell has been working since he was fifteen to support his mother and siblings. What he most wants in life is to own a construction business and take care of the family his father abandoned. The last thing he expects is to fall for his younger sister’s best friend.

Life, however, throws cruel twists and turns into the path of romance. And when an unrequited love seeks revenge against Claire, and Benjamin learns his ex-girlfriend is pregnant, will lost dreams of a future together be the only thing they have left?


Jannine Gallant said...

I can relate. I'm currently on round two of edits. Two more to go. Ugh. Yeah, I love my books, but who wants to read them 4 times in a row! I could have just fixed the minor errors in this round with a search and sent it back, but oh no...I'm way too much of a control freak. Once it goes to galleys I have to list changes, so these last two rounds (next is from the copy editor) are my final chances to change that word I used two paragraphs above to something different. (Rolling my eyes.) Good luck with yours, Brenda. If no one hears from either of us, you ladies will know Brenda and I read ourselves into comas!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Uh-huh! Been there, done that and it's brutal - in a good way. When I wrote three books in a series for TWRP, I was doing final proofing on the first while working on edits for the second and, yes, actually writing the third. Each time I sat down to work, I had to really concentrate to remember which character was doing what and where they were. And, people come out of comas ALL the time. It's what we love, right? Best of luck, Brenda. You, too, Jannine.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Jannine and Margo, sure sounds like you know what I'm talking about!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hi Brenda, I'm also in the editing cave this summer. Right now, I'm between 1st and 2nd edits and enjoying the break. It'll all be worth in the end. Thanks for sharing an excellent post. Joanne :)

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Joanne. Keep on reading!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Any day now, my editor will send her comments on FAINT, my last book in the funeral planner series. Much as I want to finish the series, I've been working so hard on FEARLAND that I dread the edits on FAINT. I really want to start something new! Anyway, Brenda, a year from now, you'll be glad you got POST-WAR DREAMS polished up for your readers...the effort will definitely be worth it!

Mary Gillgannon said...

Oh, how I hate edits. By then I'm sick of the book anyway and I'm terrible at catching errors. The only thing that works for me is to print the whole thing out, again, and read through it a few pages at a time. Thanks for a post that really hits a nerve!

Brenda Whiteside said...

You are so right, Rolynn. Mary, that's why I'm so glad for my editor. After so many years with a book, I can't really "see" it!

stanalei said...

I can certainly relate with all the comments. Just got my first round galley's today. Happy editing and writing.
Best of luck with republish of your story, Brenda.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Stanalei!