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A Month in the Life

I realize it’s been a while since I posted anything here. Life and deadlines get in the way of blogging sometimes. Being an editor/author is a busy, busy life! People often ask me what it’s like working in the field, and many times when I say things like, “It’s hard work and long hours” or “It involves a lot of twelve to fourteen-hour days,” they look at me like I’ve just grown three heads and become Cerberus himself.

But it’s the truth. The business of writing is not for the faint of heart.

So, to illustrate and also to catch y’all up on what’s been going on with me, I present to you my bullet list: a month in the life of an author/editor.

1. Edits are finally finished on Dirty Angels 1: Full Throttle, and I’m proud to say it comes out 5/24/16.

Here’s the blurb: After one mistake robs governor’s son Luc Angeles of his bright future, he wants nothing more than to bury the sins of his past. But street racing is in his blood, and his crew is his family. In order to lead the Dirty Angels, Luc risks his inheritance, his father’s respect, even the law. If only he could come clean with his crew and tell them he’s gay. But the street-racing world is harsh, and Luc’s rivals are even harsher.

When Luc falls for Jesse, the police chief’s son, Luc is drawn further in to the street-racing world—a world of fast cars and merciless rivals, a world that will test his loyalty to his crew, his family, and his own heart. But how can he win Jesse without admitting he’s gay? And what if Jesse learns that Luc was involved in an accident that took Jesse’s brother’s life?

2. I’ve started development on a new YA series—lesbian rock stars in the zombie apocalypse. Think: The Walking Dead meets old-school Jem and the Holograms. This series will likely begin in Richmond, VA and take the heroines all across the country as they race to connect with other survivors and find love in the zombie apocalypse. Truly outrageous!

3. On the editor side of things, I’m currently editing three books for Loose Id with six more in the pipeline after this. Every one of these three manuscripts is over 200 pages. As the content editor, I cover plot, pacing, characterization, heat level, POV, continuity, grammar, punctuation, house style, and adherence to Chicago Manual of Style. I’ll guide the author through the edits, streamlining the book and making it leaner, meaner, and hotter.

The easiest of these manuscripts took me four days at six hours/day to edit. The hardest took me twelve days. One of them is Aberrant Magic, an m/m series about modern-day shamans in a magical police task force written by the fantastic Lyn Gala.

Find her other works here:

4. On top of the content edits, I am also the main contact for all of my authors. I currently have 43 active authors and 10 inactive. I field emails, solve problems, handle editing questions, and generally make sure the editing process goes smoothly.

I picked up three new authors between April and May, and naturally, they need a lot of attention. It takes time to orient to working with any publishing house, and Loose Id has a very rigorous editing process. Rigorous and amazing. Also, new authors can be a good deal needier as they find their legs and relax into a rhythm. Some of them email me almost daily!

5. As an editor, I also take submissions from my own authors and from a rotation. This month, I’ve assessed (LI doesn’t use the word “reject”) five novels, the smallest of which was 40K. This process requires me to read the book, make my comments and recommendations, and post it to the LI editors’ site where the management will then read the manuscript and review my comments. If they agree with me—and they did—we assess. Then I write a thoughtful assessment letter giving encouragement and also gently telling the author why we didn’t accept his/her work for publication.

In case you’re wondering, it was 2 cases of “rape to romance” (a trope I cannot wait to see die in a fire), 2 cases of the story being too long and ending on a cliffhanger (who wants to read 100K only to be told they have to read more? Answer: NO ONE), and 1 case of the heroine having no growth or agency.

6. During this time, I’ve also taken on some editing duties at Ink Monster, an amazing house that publishes YA stories about kick-ass heroines. Find them here, and make sure to check out their manifesto:

As an Editing Monster, I am part of a dynamic team that works directly with the author to critique, develop, and edit manuscripts. I’m currently working on Christina Bauer’s Beholder series and Lola Dodge’s Quanta Reset, and I couldn’t be more excited! Find their other stories here:

7. I am also working on some other exciting and collaborative projects that are so nebulous they can only be spoken of in whispers in the dark and mysterious alleyways of my soul. I’m not at liberty to expand yet, but I can say that 2018 is set to be an amazing year, in an LGBT YA way. Storm and salvo!

8. In addition, I’ve landed another writing opportunity to work with a team of folks I respect and admire. I’ll be tasked in June to write something for the team, and if they like it, I’ll be accepted onto the development team. I can’t say more—clowns will eat me!—but more on this as it breaks.

9. Progress for #swordismightier is coming along nicely. I’m 72K into the revision with a projected date of end-of-June for completion. I plan to pitch the story at Seton Hill’s Alumni Retreat. If you’re interested in heading to the retreat, it is an amazing weekend of hardcore, intensive panels on writing and the business of writing.

10. I am expecting a few freelance projects to come in. I occasionally edit for the amazing Ditter Kellen, a lovely lady and talented writer. Her next book, Vaulcron, is expected to launch in early June. We’ll do edits this month.

11. And that’s just work! I also traveled a lot this month, heading out to the Blue Ridge Mountains for a weekend of camping and also to Roanoke, VA for a vampire LARP event. A girl needs her rest and relaxation!

So, that’s about my month is a nutshell. In any given day, I am author, editor, villain, cheerleader, kick-ass heroine, monster, and mentor. I am very fortunate to work in the field that I love and have my education in.

As always, thank you for reading!

Next week's post: On Venting and How Not to be a Negative Suckhole

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