Tuesday, April 28, 2015

TEASER TUESDAY: Rori Shay

Welcome to another installment of TEASER TUESDAY. I'm excited to have the lovely Rori Shay here with us today. She'll be sharing an excerpt from her novel, Suspected


~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:
I eat dinner in my apartment alone, knowing that tonight Calix is planning to visit his brother. I change into a fresh set of robes and then start the short walk to building sixteen where the infamous Satisfaction Room is housed. When I’m just a few buildings away, I see a long line twisting from sixteen’s front door around the side of the building. There must be two hundred people all waiting for whatever is inside. I contemplate turning around, wondering how they’ll possibly get through the line before people have to be at work in another twelve hours. But a shout stops me in my tracks.
“Alicen!” It’s the registrar from months ago when Griffin and I first arrived in Mid. This time he isn’t looking down his nose at me. In fact, he’s standing by the Satisfaction Room’s front door, beckoning me over with large waves of his hand.
I step through the crowd, which passively parts for me.
“So you’ve come at last,” he says.
I turn to my left to look at the people around me. They don’t seem interested in our conversation. They just stare ahead, slightly swaying on their feet from standing in line so long.
“Sorry,” I say. “I didn’t know it was a requirement.” Sarcasm, learned from Calix, drips off my tongue easily.
The registrar chuckles. “It’s not, but we keep tallies of who’s been in.”
I scrunch my brow. “I’m sure you do.”
“The Elected asked me to specifically watch for you. Wanted to know when you’d been here.”
I almost slink off then and there. I hate being scrutinized like this. But another part of me wants to see what’s inside and why Calix wants to know when I tried it.
I snort. “Well, you can tell him I’ve come tonight. I’ll just take my place in the line, if you’ll excuse me.”
“No, no. You don’t have to wait in line. Come in.” He opens the front door and gestures grandly with one arm extended.
I look again at the people who I’m supposed to be passing in line. No one seems bothered that they’ve waited for two hours and I am about to sidestep them all. I follow the register through the glass doors and into the almost black interior of building sixteen. My eyes have trouble adjusting to the lack of light. All I see are red lights on the floor leading us down a corridor.
“Just through here,” says the registrar. “Since this is your first time, I’ll go inside with you and explain the process.”
I shiver, but he can’t see my nervousness in the darkness. I follow the registrar obediently, passing by a few rooms. I hear nothing coming from within and ask if anyone else is here.
“We have five other rooms all going at once. Soundproof walls. You won’t have to worry about a thing. Complete privacy.”
I almost snort out loud again. Privacy. Yeah, right. The surveillance team is probably jotting down everything that happens in these rooms.
“What kind of place is this?” I finally ask when we’re standing outside of a shut door at the very end of the hallway.
The registrar doesn’t laugh this time or tell me it’s a stupid question. “Beyond that door you’ll be able to choose whatever physical satisfaction your body requires. Anything you need to get your physical needs out of the way in a timely manner without any messy talking or emotional attachment. So you can get back to work feeling refreshed.” My eyes open wider, but the registrar doesn’t notice. “You can have any pleasure from your wildest imagination.” He opens the door, and the room is a stark contrast to the dark corridor. It’s a gleaming white box with nothing inside except a large monitor and a touchscreen. “Here we are,” says the registrar, guiding me toward the equipment.
I look at the blank screen, trying to discern how it’s supposed to work when the register reaches down, flips a switch, and the monitor revs to life. The screen beams out a yellow background with the word SATISFACTION across its face in black.
The registrar types in his code and the one-word image is replaced with a series of questions. “Just read these and fill out your answers by touching the keys you see on the screen. You can write in answers or if you can’t think of something you’d like, just use the drop down boxes for ideas.”
I stare at the screen and look back up at the registrar.
He smiles at me indulgently. “Take as long as you like. First-timers are allowed an extra hour.” He starts to walk out, and all of a sudden I’m nervous to be left alone in the eerie white room.
“Wait!” I call. “What if I don’t want to choose anything?”
The registrar laughs, but it’s not condescending, just assured. “Oh, you will.”
Then he turns on his heel and the door clicks shut behind him. I am alone. I run to the room’s entrance to see if the door locked me in. It opens easily, though, and I breathe a sigh that I’m not a prisoner here. I slowly walk back to the glowing screen and look down at the first question.
Do you like men or women or both?
I cough out loud, embarrassed already by the first line. Uneasily, I put my fingertip out to choose an answer and then stop. It’s funny how just a year ago I wouldn’t have known how to answer this question. Now as I place my finger on “men”, I’m surprised how easy it is to respond. I still don’t understand what will exactly transpire in the Satisfaction Room or how it’ll be accomplished without another human being, but I keep proceeding through the process.
How would you like to be touched?
I have no idea how to answer this question. I don’t even know what would be sufficient. One word? A whole paragraph of explanation? It’s such a convoluted question for me, I almost laugh out loud. If I write “I’d like a hug from my mom,” I wonder what would happen. Instead I punch the key for the drop down box and turn a deep shade of red as I’m allowed to check as many of the options as I want. The options range from things like, ‘Tickle my feet.’ to ‘Tie me up and spank me.’ I punch in four of the answers and then press enter.
Describe your ideal romantic atmosphere.
        For this question I decide not to pick from a drop down list but write in the answer myself. A forest completely surrounded by trees. An open space within the pine trees with soft needles under our feet. A warm evening, but not humid, with a crescent moon in the sky for light.
        I press enter and am rewarded when the room around me is transformed into the very images I just described. The walls become vibrant green pictures of a forest. Sounds of birds chirping and owls hooting quietly leak from hidden speakers. The scents of pine and cedar hit my nose. The only things they haven’t been able to create are the pine needles. But fake plastic grass shoots up from the floor in front of me as if it’s been growing there the whole time. I look down at the screen again.
What color hair would you like your suitor to have?
I choose “dark brown” from the drop down box.
Hair type?
I look at the suggestions and click “straight”.
Eye color?
I type in “brown the color of maple syrup.”
Body build type?
At this, I feel a chill run down my spine, but I keep staring at the screen to type in “Tall. Lanky. Wiry muscles. Strong enough to wrestle a wolf and win.” I smile at my last written words, remembering the lone wolf we had in East Country’s animal sanctuary.
After a dozen more questions, some of which send my knees shaking, the screen returns to a yellow background. It now reads, “Please wait while your robot is created.”
I twirl a piece of my hair with two fingers, squeezing my lips together. So this is it then. They can make robots look exactly how we want, and the robots will please us exactly how we wish. I bite off all of the nails on my left hand as I wait.
Finally, an almost invisible door opens in the far right corner of the room. My robot glides forward, long legs, dark brown unruly hair, and a crooked smile.
“Pleased to meet you, Alicen. You look lovely tonight.”
I bow my head, surprise and a touch of shame causing my cheeks to tingle. Without knowing it, I’ve made my robot look almost exactly like Griffin.
~~~~~~~~~~~


BLURB:
East Country upheld the laws. Mid destroyed them.

In the year 2185 Earth is rebuilding after a global eco-crisis. Countries maintain complete isolation so there is no warfare over scarce resources. One Elected family is chosen to lead each country for 100 years to ensure stability. Women aren't allowed to take office and must reproduce at all costs. Technology use of any kind is banned to preserve what's left of the environment.


And yet, I'm my country's Elected. I've just sanctioned technology use to ready us for war. I'm about to cross the border to spy on our neighbor. And...I'm a girl. Shhhhhh.....



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rori Shay is a strategic management consultant living in the Seattle area with her family, black lab, and cat.  In the writing world, Rori is primarily know for her science fiction trilogy, The Elected Series.  She enjoys running, reading, snow-shoeing, pumpkin-picking, and right now…writing the third ELECTED novel!  Rori is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Connect with Rori on her website, Twitter, and Facebook


Don't forget to check out the tour wide giveaway!

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Confessions from the Editing Cave with Stacey Graham

Welcome to another installment of Confessions from the Editing Cave. Up today -- non-fiction author of creepy, scary stuff, Stacey Graham!



1. Tell us a bit about your background working with editor(s). Did you hire a freelance editor? Work with an editor at a publishing house? Work with an agent in the capacity of an editor? All of the above or some other combination?
I've worked with editors at publishing houses for all four books/tarot deck and the short stories.

2. What was your overall relationship with your editor? Good? Bad? Indifferent?
Each editor had their own way of working with me as the author. Some were very hands on and later added their own contributions to the project (ahem), while others were ready to let me run free and responded with edits and suggestions after the manuscript was turned in. I'm pretty easy to work with and don't fuss over changes if I think they benefit the project as a whole. 

3. What was the best edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
I like editors that squeeze a bit more out of me. They want that extra bit that I swear I'll never give -- a new chapter, a little more description at the beginning of a chapter before I dive into haunted object stories, or buffing out the conclusion. Good editors know when to push and when to say "That'll do, pig. That'll do."

4. What was the worst edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
One of my editors was looking for a certain slant to a project but I didn't realize it until I'd re-written it three times. After we finally connected, the project was smoother but much less of my original idea. I also had an copy editor on a short story that hated it. Haaaaaaaaaaaated it. So much so that he blasted nearly every line with nitpicks and I had to fight to keep my story in the anthology. I won. 

5. What was your first, initial, gut-reaction to your edits?
Most of my work is nonfiction so I appreciate the backup in double-checking sources and making my writing stronger. I don't take it personally when they don't like a section since through their eyes, I can see what needs to be explained better and smooth out rough edges for readers.

6. Confession time! Share anything else you’d like to confess. 
A wise writer never kisses and tells.  ;)




ALL ABOUT STACEY:


Stacey Graham is the author of four books and a rag-tag collection of short stories. You may currently find her scaring the pants off of readers with her latest creepy books. She intends on returning the pants at a later date.

Please visit her on Twitter at @staceyigraham, Facebook at facebook.com/authorstaceygraham, and her website at staceyigraham.com

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Author Interview with Laura Maisano


I'm super excited to welcome author, Laura Maisano to the blog today. She's out promoting her debut young adult novel, SCHISM. (I've read it. It's really good, y'all!)  So, without further ado, Laura is here to answer some burning questions :-)



1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I was in college and watching a lot of anime at the time. I’ve always liked the “magical girl” shows where a normal girl is transported to another world. I took that key idea and tried to warp it, to find a different angle. So, I came up with the fourth-spatial dimension for my world Illirin. From there I created Gabe and Lea, and all of the conflicts rose organically from a combination of the setting and their personal goals/problems.

2. Who is your favorite character in this book?

You’re asking me to choose my favorite child! Just kidding. If I have to choose, I think Gabe is my favorite. He has the most dynamic arc and the most complex internal workings. Getting into his head is always a treat, because he oftentimes surprises me. He’s impulsive,
passionate, and has a kindness that is only rivaled by his temper.

3. Which came first, the title or the novel?

The title for sure. I began worldbuilding and casting, and well before I developed a complete plot, I had the title SCHISM. In fact, the title helped build some of the plot points and flesh out some world building background stuff.

4. What scene in the book are you most proud of and why?

At one point, Gabe says goodbye to Lea. I love this scene because it’s highly emotional and it shows a huge shift in mood from one moment to the next. It illustrates exactly what kind of change Lea has gone through, as someone who masked her emotions, to someone who can cry.

5. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

Comparing yourself or your writing to others is the biggest de-motivational tool there is. Don’t do it. Oftentimes we’re in the early stages, or deep into editing, and we’ll read a finished novel. I’d think “Oh my book is terrible. It’s nothing like this!” and yes, it IS nothing like that other book. However, that other book has gone through professional editing, and it’s nothing like it’s first or second draft either. Also, everyone has a unique style. It’s not only okay to be different from someone else, it’s a good thing.

6. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?

I’m looking forward to Medicine for the Dead by Arianne “Tex” Thompson. It’s a sequel to One Night in Sixes, and while it’s not YA, it’s a western fantasy and I have to know what happens next.

7. What’s up next for you?

I’m working on the sequel to SCHISM called UNITY as well as a short novelette prequel. I’m also drafting a geeky YA romance that has lots of awkward nerd love in it. I can’t wait to share all these projects!

8. Anything you would like to add?

Thank you for hosting me on your blog today. I am beyond excited about SCHISM and sharing it with the world.


SCHISM (Illirin Book One)
By Laura Maisano


Art therapy hasn’t done squat for Gabe Jones. A thousand sketches of his fiancée can’t bring his memory, or her, back to him. Nothing on Earth can. His past lies in another dimension, a world just out of sight.
Another student on campus, Lea Huckley, unknowingly shares Gabe’s obsession with the fourth dimension. The monsters from the other side attacked her parents and fled, getting her folks locked up in the loony bin. Proving this other world exists is the only way to free them. Lea and Gabe strike a deal to help each other, and together they manage to open a door to the world of Gabe’s true origin. She’d use him for proof—if she didn’t already care too much.
While Gabe tries to reconcile his feelings for Lea and his rediscovered memories of his fiancée, a much more sinister plot unravels. He uncovers his history just in time to become the unwilling lynchpin in a conspiracy to start a war. His memory holds the secret to the final riddle the would-be conqueror needs to get the upper hand. Gabe must protect the riddle at all costs, even if that means leaving Earth, and Lea, behind forever.


"How long?”
“Roughly ten minutes.”
Ten minutes may as well have been six hours. She paced back and forth, her sneakers scuffing the gritty pavement.
Gabe continued to keep a watchful eye out for muggers or vagrants. What a dork.
She snickered quietly. For someone who didn’t know his own experiences, he sure seemed paranoid. She watched him standing straight, darting his eyes to the entrance and even up to the windows above them. Watch out bad guys, Gabe’s on to you. She smiled and turned to see what looked like heat waves rising from the cold cement. Crap. The interaction had already started.
“Gabe…” She waved him over next to the loading dock.
This interaction provided no shining lights or obvious movement. Not much stood out visually, except maybe the air glistening like summer heat waves if she squinted hard enough, but her digital thermometer found the coldest point.
“Here,” she whispered, not wanting anyone or anything on the other side to hear. She stretched her arms forward, and Gabe did likewise.
“On the count of three.” She waited for him to nod. “One…two…three.”
They both reached through the interaction point and grabbed at the thicker air. Nothing. They tried again, pulling, grasping, and making any sort of motion to trigger a rip. Finally, Gabe leaned in and pulled out at just the right angle, because the light tore across like a jagged line. Lea grabbed the edge of it and tugged, opening the tear wider until they both fell through.


About the Author

Laura has an MA in Technical writing and is a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian Fiction. She’s excited to release her debut YA Urban Fantasy SCHISM, and she’s finishing up the sequel UNITY.

Her gamer husband and amazing daughter give support and inspiration every day. Their cats, Talyn and Moya, provide entertainment through living room battles and phantom-dust-mote hunting. Somehow, they all manage to survive living in Texas where it is hotter than any human being should have to endure. Check out her blog at: LauraMaisano.blogspot.com.




Twitter: @MaisanoLaura
Google+ https://plus.google.com/+LauraMaisano

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

TEASER TUESDAY: Scott Springer

Welcome to another installment of TEASER TUESDAY. I'm excited to have the talented Scott Springer here with us today. He'll be sharing an excerpt from his novel, Bound by Blood


~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:
“Dear Lord,” he said. “I am your humble servant. You are mighty. Worthy. And you know my needs, Lord. Which are Julia’s needs. Which is that she is safe.” He paused, feeling frustrated. His mother and aunts had taught him to pray, had told him to call out to Him when in need, but also, they had taught him to acknowledge his own blessings and to thank Him for His generosity. He had never paid much attention to the lessons and now he wished he had, because this had to be right. Everything hinged on his ability to pray. Prayer and leaving it up to His mercy were now the only way to save her.
            Rick looked out the window of the truck, saw the empty street, and then closed his eyes. Staring into darkness he continued, “Lord, what I’m trying to say here is that Julia needs Your help. She’s in deep. She needs to do the right thing. And she needs to not get shot. That’s the big thing here, Lord. Please, oh please, don’t let her get shot.”

Rick opened his eyes, looked around. Nothing appeared to have changed. The street was still empty. He drew a slow breath though his nostrils, relishing the moment. The air was thick and rich. Rick thought about what he had just said to God and he decided that, while maybe not eloquently, he had expressed what needed to be told. “Please keep her safe.” He was about to say “Amen” but instead he closed his eyes again.
~~~~~~~~~~~


BLURB:
Julia has accepted the Lord and is busy returning her life to order. She is not ready for love, especially when the new site foreman at work stirs up forgotten feelings. She knows a playboy when she sees one, but to Rick Mercado the attraction between them is surprisingly real. Other girls no longer interest him, and if she wants to play hard to get that's fine with him. Let the games begin!

What he doesn't realize is that her dangerous secret is not a game. Julia's brother has returned from the street, strung out and in trouble with rival gangs. Loyalty to her brother draws Julia deeper into a world of drug deals and thugs. Rick doesn't understand why Julia won't simply go to the cops, especially once the bullets start flying. As Julia slips further into a world of violence, Rick realizes how easily his heart can be broken. His brain says to run, but his heart isn't listening. It may already be too late.

BOUND BY BLOOD. Love and suspense, heartfelt moments and guns a blazing.

What a killer combination!




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Scott Springer spent his youth playing pretend and dreaming of being a writer. As an adult he worked as a carpenter before becoming a software developer. Having produced much, his two children remain his proudest accomplishment. His wife led him to the Lord, and he’s glad that she did.

You can find Scott on his website, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Don't forget to check out the tour wide giveaway below!

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Confessions from the Editing Cave with Paula Rose

Welcome to another installment of Confessions from the Editing Cave. This week I have lovely romantic suspense author, Paula Rose joining us!


1. Tell us a bit about your background working with editor(s). Did you hire a freelance editor? Work with an editor at a publishing house? Work with an agent in the capacity of an editor? All of the above or some other combination?  
I had the privilege of working with Sarah Joy Freese at Anaiah Press.

2. What was your overall relationship with your editor? Good? Bad? Indifferent?  
Excellent! Sarah Joy Freese taught me so much about the editing and writing process inside the editing cave.  It was wonderful to uncover the good and not so great parts of my writing or my crafting errors.  To update some of my outdated ways and to learn the new and exciting crafting details, I was able to mold a story into a work that I fell in love with all over again.

3. What was the best edit you’ve ever received from your editor? 
My villain’s excellent creepy factors and excellent creepy chapters.  

4. What was the worst edit you’ve ever received from your editor? 
I didn’t really know enough about my hero, and she was right.  When I started the story, I had a personality in mind, but this hero didn’t play that way.  He really did become someone I didn’t know.  With this “worse” edit, the best thing happened.  I met the hero that appeared on my page not the one that appeared in my mind.  This hero had a whole life on these pages that I didn’t consider because I was focused on forcing him into the mold that I created.  Accepting this man, his personality, quirks, flaws and bruised heart opened up his story as I put his true self into my story line.  

5. What was your first, initial, gut-reaction to your edits?  
I was happy to be immersed, and I knew it would help the story.  However, the overwhelming feeling of I can’t do this entered my core.  It was my editor’s initial advice on her notes that kept that fear at bay.  Sarah Joy Freese gave this advice: “Don’t try to fix everything at once.  Go through each issue and focus on that issue.”   I did.  Just to see each one of those edits get done stoked the kindling of the I can do this feeling.


6. Confession time! Share anything else you’d like to confess.  
These edits happened during a tragic season in life, but with God’s help, using these edits, I was able to keep my balance.  Sometimes, things do come up when you don’t think they should and at a time when you don’t think you can deal, but you’ll look back and thank God that they arrived in the nick of time.  

ALL ABOUT PAULA:

Author Paula Rose brings an “average” family into extraordinary situations, brushes with life-size strokes of reality, adding just a touch of humor, and coats with suspense inside Christian fiction. Paula’s research gives readers a panoramic view from law enforcement and lends to character authenticity. She enjoys writing in the romantic suspense, suspense, and mystery genres, but when she’s not writing, Paula Rose is playing amateur photographer.

Don't forget to visit Paula on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Pinterest

Monday, April 13, 2015

Confessions from the Editing Cave with Lisa Dunn

Welcome back to another installment of Confessions from the Editing Cave. I'm thrilled to welcome young adult fantasy author, Lisa Dunn!



1. Tell us a bit about your background working with editor(s). Did you hire a freelance editor? Work with an editor at a publishing house? Work with an agent in the capacity of an editor? All of the above or some other combination?  

My first official editing experience was with Laura Maisano of Anaiah Press, who has seen me through the first two books of a YA Fantasy trilogy. Prior to that, my manuscript was subjected to the close scrutiny of my sister, my critique group, and a handful of literary agents who were kind enough to offer feedback.

2. What was your overall relationship with your editor? Good? Bad? Indifferent? 

From the start, Laura felt like a friend - a friend who would kick my butt if I gave less than 1000%. The same goes for my sister, whom I call my unofficial editor. Both of them challenged and encouraged me more than words can tell. 

3. What was the best edit you’ve ever received from your editor?   

So, I had this tree in my head - a coastal sort of tree with a twisting trunk that ran parallel to the ground before curving upright. I described it as “a low vertical trunk.” Laura had been pushing me to simplify my language, and her comment ran something like, “Um… wouldn’t that be a STUMP? This is what I’m talking about… SIMPLIFY!!!!” I laugh whenever I think of it, but this is a prime example of why authors need editors. Sometimes we just don’t see how far what we write is from what we meant to write.

4. What was the worst edit you’ve ever received from your editor?  

Two things come to mind. The first is a general issue of working through personal preferences where proper grammar and punctuation aren’t immediately clear.  Sometimes, I decided it didn’t matter and threw out my personal preferences. Other times, I discussed it with my editor, giving clear reasons to reject a suggested edit. (We’ll see who won in the final product!)  The other situation was a self-imposed edit based on feedback from a literary agent who loved my main character, but didn’t appreciate the direction in which I’d taken the story. It amounted to two months of revision during which I cut and pasted, added and deleted characters and scenes, and basically murdered several darlings in ice cold blood. I list this as a “worst edit,” but in fact, it was one of the best things that happened to my manuscript. It was hard. Probably the last thing you want someone to tell you is that you need to rewrite half your book. But it was so worth it. Generally speaking, the more sweat and tears an edit requires, the better your story will be.

5. What was your first, initial, gut-reaction to your edits? 

Gut indeed. You know that stomach-churn you get when an email from an agent or publisher you’ve queried pops up in your inbox? That doesn’t go away. You’re eager and giddy and terrified all at the same time, and the turmoil doesn’t abate until you’ve read through all the edits. Then, after you’ve taken a deep breath, you can return to life as a supposedly sane human being. 

6. Confession time! Share anything else you’d like to confess.  

This may make me sound like a nerdy goody-two-shoes, but I LOVE editing. I love the vulnerability of having every flaw and inconsistency exposed. I love the emotional sweat of digging deep to make the story that much better. I love the positive comments, too, those places where Laura took off her editor hat to gush over a line or call a character a “jerkwad.” On a more confessional note, I can be a bit obsessive when I’m writing or editing. Being in the zone is a fantastic rush, but sometimes I have to force myself out of the zone because, well, life. I’m very thankful for a husband and children who grant me space and grace to do this job. Finally, I’m kind of, sort of really looking forward to writing a standalone instead of a trilogy! Maybe it will be like parenting a singleton after triplets Heres hoping, anyway!


All about Lisa:
Lisa lives in a small Southern town with her husband and four children. Having found school incredibly dull, she teaches her children at home, where backyard forts, imaginary worlds, and a Great Dane puppy make things like Latin and long division bearable. She works with middle school youth at her church and is actively involved in her local chapter of South Carolina Writers Workshop.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Confessions from the Editing Cave with Kara Leigh Miller


I am so excited for this new weekly feature here on Kick Start Your Heart Romance. As both an author and editor, I'm involved in the editing process a LOT! As an author, I know what's been asked of me, and as an editor, I know what I've asked of other authors. (Hint: I'm not an easy editor. lol. I really do push my authors to work hard, but I digress...) 

This new Monday feature will focus on authors who are brave enough to step forward and confess the real truth of what happens in the dark and often scary editing cave. But, I can't ask authors to put themselves in the hot seat if I'm not willing to do the same, so, here I am, confessing the truth about my own editing cave. 


1. Tell us a bit about your background working with editor(s). Did you hire a freelance editor? Work with an editor at a publishing house? Work with an agent in the capacity of an editor? All of the above or some other combination?
I've worked with a variety of different editors at various small presses, and I've worked with my agent, Dawn Dowdle of The Blue Ridge Literary Agency in an editorial capacity. And, of course, I'm an editor myself so I have that experience as well. 

2. What was your overall relationship with your editor? Good? Bad? Indifferent?
My editor at the former Entranced Publishing, Emily Ward, was phenomenal. We got along from the very first email we shared, and it only got better from there. We just clicked on every level. 

3. What was the best edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
While working with Emily on my contemporary YA, The Georgia Corbins, she told me to add a lot of words to the book and to really flesh out Ali's character -- her friends, her hobbies, her life at home with her parents. It was overwhelming at first, but the end result was definitely something I was super proud of. 

4. What was the worst edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
A different editor (who shall remain nameless because I still adore her despite our disagreements and I refuse to speak ill of her for any reason) for a different book had suggested I (a) remove the romance from the book all together, or (b) make it serve more of a purpose, such as a means to an end sort of situation. Talk about a shock. lol. She made some strong arguments for her edits, but at the end of the day, it just didn't jive with the overall vision I had for the book / series. This happened a while ago, and now that I've had some distance from all of it, I can see the merit in her editorial suggestion. However, I still don't agree, but I can concede to the fact the romance does need a little work to make it stronger and more feasible for the overall series arc. 

5. What was your first, initial, gut-reaction to your edits?
Seeing that first editorial email land in my inbox is always terrifying. Without fail, my heart races and my stomach knots. I seriously hold my breath when I open it and start reading. Also without fail, my typical gut-reaction is anger. lol. There, it's out in the open. I admit it. Upon finishing that first email, I usually get angry. How dare they ask me to do all this stuff?!?! But then I close the email and walk away and don't come back to it for at least 24 hours. When I do, my head is clearer and I'm a lot less emotional. 

6. Confession time! Share anything else you’d like to confess. 
I much rather prefer being the one giving the edits instead of getting them. Ha! Okay, that's really not much of a confession is it? So, I'll leave you all with this -- I've pushed my authors to really stretch themselves, to give just a little more when they think they don't have anything left. I'm proud to say, they all have come through and produced books they're thrilled with, but as an author, I often fear I won't be able to push myself and achieve what my authors have. I have a major case of performance anxiety ;)

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And if you're interested in confessing all of your editing cave secrets, send me at email for more details! karaleighmiller(at)gmail(dot)com