Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thank You, Laura

My agent and I believed that Whisper Falls was a really good book, so we did what often happens in such cases. We submitted it to editors at publishing houses.

Months passed. No one offered to buy the book. And their feedback made me sigh (which is better than making me cry.)
  • Time-travels are a hard sell.
  • The story needs to be tighter.

I couldn't do anything about the first excuse.  But I could do something about the second. That's where Laura came in.

Laura is a recent graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, magna cum laude in English, whose dream job is to be a book editor.1 She's also one of my daughter's roommates.  I needed editing advice, and Laura wanted to freelance-edit--a match made in writer's heaven.

We joined forces to make my book the best it could be. Laura's editing style was gloriously unobtrusive. In response to her gently-posed questions, I was able to revise the book with my ideas, my words, and my voice.  It was the same story, just better.

Three months later, my agent resubmitted the book.  We received an offer to buy Whisper Falls in four days.2

Thank you, Laura! 

  1. I would highly recommend Laura to other novelists in need of freelance editing.3
  2. Results are not, of course, guaranteed. Editing advice may free you to write a better book, but you still have to have a great voice, a great concept, and great market timing in order to win contests, land an agent, or sell.
  3. The publishing house was so impressed by how polished my manuscript was that they have offered Laura contract copy-editing work.


  1. Laura sounds excellent! Let's hear it for the next generation of talented editors. Sometimes it just takes that second (or third or fourth) eye. Congrats on the sale!

  2. Thank you. That's what I love about her. She points out holes I didn't think of---and some I did but was hoping no one else would. Well worth the cost of admission!