This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barry will be awarding a medium or large t-shirt with the author’s “Keep On Climbing” logo on the front to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (US/CANADA ONLY). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Now that I have gone through the writing process for a third time with my new book, The Vanishing Wife, I thought it might be of interest to your readers to share some thoughts on editing. I’m not referring to the work we do as authors to polish our manuscript. When I refer to editing, I’m talking about hiring a professional editor.
It’s not cheap and I’m sure that is a deterrent for many. But, can you really afford not to have your manuscript edited professionally? An author spends months, and in some cases years, pouring their heart and soul into their masterpiece. So shouldn’t the finished product be as good as it can possibly be? The answer in my opinion is a resounding “yes.”
The Wikipedia dictionary defines editing as “the process that can involve correction, condensation, organization, and many other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate and complete work.” While I don’t always agree with Wikipedia definitions, I think this one is perfect because that’s exactly what we should all strive for in our work: correctness, consistency, accuracy and completeness. If we can honestly say that our manuscript meets those criteria, we will have a piece of work that will make us proud. I credit my editor for helping me get closer to reaching the four criteria by forcing me to stretch my writing capabilities to the limit. I didn’t agree with or accept everything she suggested but her questions and recommendations played a valuable role in making my books better.
That’s why I think a good editor is so important. As authors, after we have read our manuscript a few times, I really believe we start to see what we intended to be on the paper, not what is actually there. An editor is a second set of eyes and they will find the typos and grammar and punctuation issues. But a good editor will also challenge your writing to bring out the best in you. They will ask questions, find places in your work where you should elaborate, suggest the elimination of redundancies if any exist and help to make sure the storyline holds together. The final say as an author is yours, of course, but the editor will make you think about your work. And your work will be better for it.
Of course, even the best editors may not catch everything. We’ve all found typos in popular novels. Even if your manuscript is edited professionally, those evil little typos can still find a way to lie hidden among the 100,000 or so words you have so carefully written. Your friends will gleefully point them out to you and that’s when you can tell them that you left the typos in the book deliberately to test their observational skills. While we try to catch them all, one or two typos are not going to affect our credibility as a writer with most readers. But weaknesses in the story line or numerous typos or grammatical errors will.
So while you are writing your masterpiece, set aside some money to hire a good editor. Check their references and ask what they consider editing to be to ensure it’s in line with your expectations. Try to be objective when looking at the suggested changes and think long and hard about them before accepting or rejecting them. The end result will be a good working relationship and a product that will win over your readers and make them want to read more from you. Most of all, you will be happier with the result.
How far will a man go when his family is threatened? Mason Seaforth is about to find out. He is a mild mannered accountant living a quiet, idyllic life in the quiet community of Gulfport, Florida with his wife, Samantha. At least, it’s quiet and idyllic until Sami, as she’s known to her friends, vanishes the night of their 20th anniversary.
Mason is thrown into a life that is meant for other people as he and their brash friend, Marcie Kane, try everything to find out what has happened to Sami. A search of Sami’s computer uncovers notes describing a past that Sami has buried for more than 20 years. Then come the threatening phone calls: to Sami, to their daughter Jennifer at university in Miami, and to Mason.
Mason and Marcie are thrust into a race against a sadistic killer to discover what has happened to Mason’s wife. He reluctantly exchanges his spreadsheets for a Glock 17 and he and Marcie follow a trail left behind by Sami which leads them to a potential confrontation with some very dangerous men in Canada. Mason is required to make decisions that he could never imagine himself making and each one has deadlier consequences than the last. The wrong one could result in the death of his entire family.
Enjoy an excerpt:
Sami never went anywhere without her cell phone, and if she had gone out for a walk, she would certainly have taken the phone with her. He reached for his own phone and dialed Sami’s number. The number rang. And rang, and rang again. Mason held his breath. “Please, Sami, please, pick up,” he whispered. On the sixth ring, he heard Sami’s confident voice message. “You have reached Samantha Seaforth. Please leave a message, and I will call you back.”
In a shaking voice, Mason heard himself doing as she asked. “Sweetie, it’s Mason, I’m leaving a message. Where are you? Please call me back right away.”
It had been two hours since he first noticed Sami was gone.
About the Author:
In 2009, Barry Finlay went up a mountain as an accountant and came down as a philanthropist. After over thirty years in various financial roles with the Canadian federal government, he took his life in a different direction and climbed Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro at age sixty with his son Chris. The climb and their fundraising efforts to help kids in Tanzania led to the award-winning book, Kilimanjaro and Beyond: A Life-Changing Journey. He followed that up with the hilarious travel memoir, I Guess We Missed The Boat, which was named Best Travel Book of 2013 by Reader Views. Now, he has completed his debut fiction book, The Vanishing Wife. Barry was named to the Authors Show’s list of “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” in 2012. In 2013, he received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for his philanthropic work in Africa. He lives in Ottawa, Canada with his wife Evelyn.
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