What Makes a Book a Keeper? Part 1

booksSome books are meant to pass time on my shelves before getting swept into the donation box for the local library or the thrift shop. Others have the distinction of permanent residency on what might be dubbed my “shelf of honor.” Those books are the ones that have somehow made a difference in my life. Maybe they were books that left a profound impression on me through their content and the author’s craft. Or they might be personally and professionally important–those that I had the honor of editing and designing for publication (or even writing), for example, or one that marked a life-passage for me. Continue reading “What Makes a Book a Keeper? Part 1”

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A Writer’s Relationship with the Reader

Many years ago, a colleague, Rus VanWestervelt, shared with me a graphic that illustrated his idea of the relationship between a writer and his reader. He described this relationship as a continuum wherein the writer never leaves the piece, but the audience doesn’t enter until a piece of writing has been officially established as a “draft,” that is, a piece of writing that has a future for the writer and a future for a reader who happens upon the piece. For this reason, he asserted, as long as the writer keeps the intended audience in mind during the drafting, revising, and editing stages of the manuscript, success is almost certain. Continue reading “A Writer’s Relationship with the Reader”

The Clay Series

One Pot…Three Women…Eight-Hundred Years

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The Clay Remembers:  Available at Amazon, B&NKobo, Smashwords, and Antigone Books and Mostly Books, Indie bookstores in Tucson, Arizona.

The Clay Endures: Available at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, and at Antigone Books and Mostly Books, Indie bookstores in Tucson, Arizona.

The Clay Sustains: Available July 30, 2017.

Two Indispensable Tools for Writers and Editors

As a writer, I know how hard it is to self-edit and proofread my own writing. It’s important to have my manuscript as close to perfect as I can make it before I send it to my editor. (Yes, writers who are also editors hire other editors to edit their work.)

As an editor, I know how easy it is to get caught up in a client’s narrative and miss both small and large problems that must be addressed. That’s one reason I always sub-contract proofreading to someone else. But I also make sure I’ve done my own due diligence before I pass a manuscript–mine or someone else’s–to a proofreader.

Continue reading “Two Indispensable Tools for Writers and Editors”

The Clay Endures Coming Soon

 

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Finally, I have a firm release date for Book 2 in The Clay Series, The Clay Endures. Well, sorta.

I anticipate offering pre-sales somettime around mid-July, with the full release coming at the end of July. I will be at the Clay Festival in Silver City, New Mexico, on July 30 and will have the book, hot off the presses, for sale there.

This book goes back in time from the first book, The Clay Remembers. Readers will remember that Anna, an archaeologist, uncovers a broken Hohokam pot which connects her to the lives and experiences of two women from years before: Esperanza, a nineteenth-century homesteader’s wife, and Ha-Wani, the Hohokam woman who made the pot in the twelfth century. A little scrap of land in the shadows of the Santa Catalina Mountains, north of Tucson, Arizona, is the setting. Continue reading “The Clay Endures Coming Soon”

More Self-Editing Tips: Part 2

The response to “Self-Editing Tips: Part 1″ was gratifying, bringing us to More Self-Editing Tips: Part 2. Most readers agreed that professional editing is a necessity for self-published writers, and I want to emphasize that these tips are in no way meant to relieve you of your responsibility to hire a professional editor if you want to publish a high-quality book. Several readers suggested the strategy of reading aloud, which I will cover in a little more detail in this post. Another reader suggested adding tools for determining the reading level of your manuscript, something I had not given much thought to, so I will be adding it here.

Self-editing common errors:

This list continues where I left off in the previous post. These self-editing tips relate to errors or problems you may not be aware of. Continue reading “More Self-Editing Tips: Part 2”

Self-Editing Tips: Part 1

Much has been said about the stigma of self-publishing, and probably the most oft-repeated criticism is that self-published books are frequently poorly edited or not edited at all. As an editor, I wouldn’t dream of publishing a book without hiring an outside editor to go through it with a fine-tooth comb. Of course,  good editors don’t come cheap, but it’s an expense that will pay off down the road when your published work is recognized for its high quality. It’s almost impossible for us to fully edit our own writing. We are too close to it; our eyes (and our brain) don’t always register errors–we unconsciously supply what we meant to write. That makes self-editing quite a challenge. Continue reading “Self-Editing Tips: Part 1”