30 Years of Blessings – Looking Back to Move Ahead

Today, as I look ahead to the New Year, I’m also celebrating another big milestone. Today, I turn 30. And while I’m definitely feeling a wee bit old, I’m also feeling tremendously thankful. For the health and energy to pursue my dreams. For long-time faithful friends and a family I adore. For the privilege of…

Why You Can’t Afford an Editor

Writing is an awfully expensive journey, isn’t it? Let’s keep it uber real here today, friend. Honest with each other over a cup of my favorite peach tea. The author’s road is a hard one. Been there, got the t-shirt. Your laptop is not exactly cheap. Add to that a word processing program, office supplies,…

A Writing Conference Survival Guide for the insecure author

I was a 19-year-old kid who didn’t know much of anything when I went to my first writing conference. In fact, I was mainly going because I’d enjoyed writing stories with friends in high school, and I wanted an excuse to hang out with my best friend. 🙂 It was one of the most terrifying…

What kind of edit does your book need?

What’s involved in a book edit? Are there different types of edits? How do I know which kind of edit my book needs? Fair questions, and ones I hear often when talking to other authors and clients. But finding a simple, clear answer is surprisingly hard to come by. Terms are used interchangeably, and opinions…

How to save time and money with a manuscript consult

Have you ever written most of the first draft of your novel, only to realize there are major problems in your plot and character arcs that will require massive rewrites? I have. It’s so incredibly frustrating. You have to throw out whole scenes, chapters, even the majority of your manuscript because you were so in love…

Show vs. Tell: Draw Your Reader into Your Story

In my career as a full-time fiction book editor, I’m sometimes asked the most common problems plaguing manuscripts. And I always know exactly what to tell writers. Show versus tell. No matter how interesting the characters or unique the concept, telling instead of showing in your prose will kill your story every single time. Most authors…

Your Novel Check-Up (Part 1)

What makes a great book? Is it the story? The characters? The age-old conflict between good and evil? Or, perhaps, the thrilling richness of escaping into a fantastical new world? From a business stand-point, what is it about a book that makes an editor or publisher sit up and take notice (or yawn and pour…

10 Tips for Working with an Editor

Congratulations! You’ve completed your manuscript, chosen your editor, and are ready to make your baby shine. In fact, a good edit (or several) are all that stand between you and glorious publication. Right? Well, it’s not quite that simple. Editing is a lot of work. Re-writing is a lot of work. And working with an…

Planning a “Workation” on a Budget

I curled up in an overstuffed armchair with a mug of my mostly-milk Mexican chocolate brew, editing an Appalachian-themed historical novel in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Fifty pages later, I set aside my work for a jaunt to the stunningly gorgeous Lily Lake outside of Estes, Colorado, to stretch my legs, enjoy the…

RealmMakers 2016: Steampunk Princesses and Creative Space

I sat around a table with three steampunked Disney princesses, a Zelda princess and Kylo Ren (complete with lightsaber), watching a room of geeky introverts turn into extreme extroverts. In the buffet line, Capt. Jack Sparrow mingled with Molly Weasley, River Song, Agent Carter and an Amish zombie. This is the creative craziness that is…