**Cover Reveal** “Life After” by P.A Warren

Life After Cover

Hadley is Lost. Living is a struggle with her family gone, leaving her the lone survivor of a horrible car accident. As Hadley struggles to overcome the grief that comes with the loss of her family, she wonders if she wants to continue living. Life doesn’t feel worth living until she meets Avery. Avery…who makes her want to feel things she shouldn’t so soon after her tragic loss. Avery…who makes her want to live. With Avery’s love, will she be able to overcome the grief or will it consume her?

Goodreads link-https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18752226-life-after?ac=1

Life After quote

Hadley with the help of Avery will find that after the storm come the rainbows

 

Author Bio:

P.A Warren currently lives in the fine state of North Carolina. She is an avid reader and blogger. P.A Warren first found a love of books while reading The Babysitter Little Sister series by Ann M. Martin and since then hasn’t looked back. Reading everything she could and would get her hands on. Befriending librarians was one of P.A Warren’s favorite things to do. She also has a huge love for Squirrels.

She now has a Kindle and has found gold in Indie Authors. It has been a lifelong dream of hers to write a book. So when she was finally able sit down and put words to paper she was thrilled, and has been writing non-stop since.

You can find her at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPAWarren?ref=hl

Beauty and the Beast “Who am I?” Review

BATB everything good is gone
I don’t normally write reviews, but after last night’s Beauty and the Beast, I couldn’t help it!
 Like many others, I waited anxiously for news about what season 2 of this amazing show would hold. Last season, I fell in love with a traumatized girl who’d turned herself into a survivor, the ultimate hero, who sacrificed himself for the good of his country only to be betrayed, a quirky genius who would do anything for his friends, and a sassy tough girl who tells it like it is. Cat, Vincent, JT and Tess make a great cast and their chemistry sizzles off the screen.  And the stories…BATB is like a romance-centered cop show with paranormal or sci-fi elements. It’s just the coolest mash-up I’ve ever seen! 
And last night’s episode only proved what I already suspected. It opens with Cat, proving once again how devoted she is. She’s been searching non-stop for Vincent since he was captured by Muirfield.  Isolating herself from work, family and friends to do so. Of course JT is helping her, just because he loves Vincent and owes him, but he’s skeptical that they’ll find him. And when they finally do find him, they realize the Vincent they knew is gone. Worse than gone, actually: his memories, everything that made Vincent who he was has been wiped from his mind by Muirfield. You don’t see it much, but in his eyes you can tell there’s nothing left but a soldier. Even still, Cat has faith that he will remember her, and the love they shared. Along with making him three times stronger than last season, they’ve also turned Vincent into somewhat of a sleeper. At the word “Condor” he goes into mission-mode. He’s got a cool new tracking power, too. He proved that a least a tiny bit of his former self was still around when he saved Cat toward the end of the show, which gives me hope the Vincent we know and love will return. 
Another aspect I was happy with was Gabe’s character growth. Since Cat saved him and supposedly cured him of his beast side, he seems dedicated to redeeming himself. He helps Cat on more than one occasion, and I think his story line can only get better. Hopefully we’ll see him hooking up with Tess this season, or a nice triangle with Cat and Vincent would be good, but unlikely. Cat is too loyal to ever truly be involved in a love triangle. (If you’ll remember last season, she never really returned Evan’s feelings.) 
I was a little disappointed in the way Cat treated her sister. I know the girl has a one-track mind, but she bailed in the middle of a memorial for their dad, right before giving a speech. And the situation she was rushing to wasn’t so urgent that she couldn’t have stepped up and said a few words for the sake of her family. There is a rift between the sisters, which is unfortunate especially now that Heather has a secret she keeps trying to tell Cat. Last season, Heather found out that they have different dads. 
In fact, Cat’s real father is the one pulling Vincent’s strings. (Maybe you’ll remember him, he played the trainer that turned Kristin’s character Lana Lang into a badass in season 8 of Smallville) It’s nice to see the two working together again; he’s a talented actor and has proven to protect Cat from his Muirfield agents, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a good guy. He captured Vincent, wiped his memory and is ultimately the one standing between Cat and Vince right now. But this newfound family history raises a question I’ve had since the pilot. 
Doesn’t Cat sometimes move a little too catlike? It’s almost like she has some beastie powers of her own, though much more integrated and subtle than Vincent’s. She’s been known to take out as many as four armed guards by herself.  There’s a scene in the pilot that raised my suspicions.  Watch how Cat reacts to a person, very quietly and slowly standing up behind her. 
See what I mean? Even though she ended up losing this fight, she still showed skills and intuition that I think is a little more than human. Her mother was a genetic scientist who helped create the beasties, and her real dad does God only knows what for the shady government. It’s entirely possible Cat was another Muirfield refugee, like Gabe was.  Maybe she’s Version 3.0? What do you think? Can you remember any scenes where Cat was a little too good to be human? What were your thoughts on the season 2 premier? 

Say No More

Last week, I saw this post on twitter. Law and Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay (along with several other awesome celebs) are part of a national campaign to end domestic violence and sexual assault. They’ve designed this awesome symbol. 

NO_MORE_INLINE_RGB

Even before I learned of the campaign, these were topics I cared strongly about. I deal with those themes in my books because I want to give people in similar situations a voice. To see so many other people standing up to give them a voice, too is unbelievably inspiring.  They’ve even uploaded an activation kit to their website. It’s filled with all kinds of things that will help you say No More all across your social media sites, and in your community.  

              

NOMORE_300x250_Group1         NoMore160x600_MARH           

NoMore160x600_CHRISM

 

    

Want to know more? In the activation kit,  they asked us to share this description: 

What is NO MORE?

NO MORE is a groundbreaking symbol, like the pink breast cancer ribbon and the red AIDS ribbon, designed
to galvanize change and radically increase the awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault in our
communities.

What was the genesis of the NO MORE symbol?

The NO MORE symbol has been in the making since 2009. It was developed because despite the significant progress that has been made in raising awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault,these pervasive issues remain hidden and on the margins of public concern. All the major domestic violence and sexual assault organizations in the country agreed that a new, overarching symbol, uniting all people working to end these problems, could have a dramatic impact on the public’s awareness. They all support NO MORE.In order to create the symbol, representatives from the domestic violence and sexual assault field and communications professionals working to raise awareness for these issues, teamed up with some of the top marketing and branding minds in the country. Together they developed the NO MORE symbol which was then tested with a range of audiences including young people and men. NO MORE received support from all demographics in the country. The majority of respondents thought it was memorable and said that the symbol was needed and important.

What does the NO MORE symbol mean?

The signature blue vanishing point originated from the concept of a zero – as in zero incidences of domestic violence and sexual assault. The smaller, inner circle of the vanishing point symbolizes moving toward our end goal when, “Together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault.”How can I help?

 KNOW MORE. Learn the signs of domestic violence and listen without judgment to victims/survivors
of sexual assault. Get the facts and know the resources available.
 Say NO MORE. Break the silence. Speak out. Seek help when you see this problem or harassment
of any kind in your family, your community, your workplace or school.
 Share NO MORE. Share the NO MORE symbol with everyone you know. Facebook it. Tweet it. Pin
it. Instagram it. Email it. Wear it. Help to increase awareness about the extent of domestic violence
and sexual assault. Visit the NO MORE Shop at nomore.org.
 Ensure NO MORE. Get involved. Volunteer in your community, or donate to a local, state or national
domestic violence or sexual assault organization.

How can I contact NO MORE?

To contact NO MORE, get more information or to get the symbol, visit http://www.nomore.org. Or for regular
updates, follow NO MORE on Twitter (@NOMOREorg at http://www.twitter.com/nomoreorg) or visit on Facebook
(www.facebook.com/NOMORE.org).

I Didn’t Mean It

Originally posted on JESSE Novels:

 

You act so immature

I didn’t mean it

You take and never give

I didn’t mean it

You act so impure

I didn’t mean it

You spread those lies

I didn’t mean it

You brought tears to my eyes

I didn’t mean it

You must hate me now this I’m sure

I didn’t mean it

Look at the mess you left in your wake

I didn’t mean it

I didn’t mean it

I didn’t mean it

Now it’s all to late

View original

Collateral Damage is Here! (Sneak Peek Included)

I worked on this until my eyes went crossed and the characters infiltrated my dreams. Now, after almost a year of hard work, it’s finally here! Collateral Damage went live last night and it’s on sale for just $2.99! This book is very special to me, not only because I love the story and the characters, but also because it marks my first release since I lost all of my work-in-progresses (including the original version of Collateral Damage) in a house fire. It took me awhile, but I’m back. And Collateral Damage is better than ever. See for yourself, you can buy it right here

Aren’t familiar with From the Damage books? It’s an emotional, eye-opening story about a group of teenagers who are brought together by a support group. Each one dealing with their own problems and situations, they aren’t exactly thrilled about therapy or letting each other in. Their ambitious young counselor goes above and beyond to prove they can trust her, in hopes they will let her help them. 

Not convinced you want to buy it? Here’s a sneak peek. Image

Kendall walked around the park, located only ten minutes from Clearwater Elementary. She hadn’t been there in years, and was surprised by how different things looked. In her memories, she saw it differently. Or maybe she imagined it differently. She wasn’t sure which.

Mulch cracked under her feet as she moved past the see-saw and continued to the slide, nursing on a large bottle of liquor, teetering around the half-way point and soon to be gone. She sat down at the foot of the slide, resting her elbows on her knees and tilting her head to look toward the swing set.

It was perfectly still, like a picture or a freeze frame and not something real. Even the leather seats dangling by chains didn’t sway in the cool breeze. The tall and thick wooden frame cast an elongated shadow across the ground, highlighted by the streetlight a few feet away. And behind the swing set, shrubs led the way to a thicket of trees, the trunks and branches forming impenetrable shadows in the dead of night.

She shivered as she looked into the darkness. Then, tilting her head back, she took another long gulp of alcohol and relaxed against the slide. Trying to stare up at the sky, she felt her attention being drawn toward the woods. It was really starting to creep her out, even before she heard the soft footsteps on the sidewalk.

She didn’t move a muscle, didn’t budge an inch, didn’t take a breath, like her sole purpose right now was to remain invisible, unseen. Protected. Soon, a shadow stretched out alongside the slide, stretching further and further as the footsteps came closer and closer, until she could make out a tall, slender man.

By now, she knew she’d been detected, but she still couldn’t move. Still stuck in panic-and-hide mode, she stayed perfectly still, but her mind raced with a million different paranoid questions about the man, his intentions in the park, and most importantly, would he hurt her?

Turning, Seth’s face came into the light and she released the breath she was holding, but didn’t get up. “Scare the hell outta someone why don’t you?”

“Sorry,” he said. “I didn’t know you’d be here.”

“Why are you here?”

He shrugged, looking around. “I come here all the time.”

Still laying on the slide, she sat up just enough to take a drink and then let her body slouch back down again. “That’s morbid,” she said, coughing against the bitter taste of alcohol.

“I know.” He reached down and took the bottle from her hands, taking a drink of it before he repeated softly, “I know.”

She looked toward the swing set now, watching as the swings swayed gently in the cool breeze, hearing the chains rattle. “I came back here for a reason,” she said, looking up at him. “To figure out what happened back then.”

“Kendall, what are you talking about?”

She sat up on the slide, reaching out to take her alcohol back. {EDITED FOR SPOILER}

He simply stared at her, like he didn’t understand at all, or he didn’t care. His voice was quiet and calm as he said, “It’s in the past. Just let it go.”

She stood up and crossed the mulch until she came to the balance beam. Taking a good long look at it, she passed the bottle of Jack over to Seth and pushed up her sleeves. Lifting herself on to the beam, she placed her feet heel-to-toe and stretched her arms out for balance. Taking her first step, she said, “I’m hoping that putting the pieces together will help me do that.”

“We swore we’d never talk about it.”

“Back then. But things are different now, Seth.” She looked down at the wooden plank as she steadily crossed it. “I need to know.”

“Trust me, you don’t.”

Reaching the end of the balance beam, she turned to face him and started back the other way, teetering a little from her buzz. “Why not?”

“You just don’t, okay?”

“I’ll decide that,” she said. “Just fill in the blanks for me, okay? Seth, please?”

“Kendall, I can’t,” he said. “I won’t.”

She stopped in front of him, staring down at him from her spot on the balance beam. She couldn’t believe he would deny her this, something she had every right to know. Something she desperately needed to know. Finally, she reached out, yanked the alcohol from his hands and brought it to her lips. Tilting her head back, she chugged until every drop was gone. It took at least a minute, but she drank without even coming up for air. Her head swam when she finished, and the world blurred in and out of focus. She coughed against the acrid taste, but soon the discomfort was gone, leaving her with that floating, intoxicated feeling she loved. The numbness she was always searching for.

Seth filled most of her vision as he looked at her with that knowing, slightly disappointed but compassionate expression, and it made her hate him.

Who was he to act like he understood her, when he didn’t? If he did, he’d give her the information she needed, so she wouldn’t always have to wonder what was real and what wasn’t. The not knowing was killing her, driving her to choices like the one she’d just made. A choice she was beginning to regret as the liquid swirled in her stomach, burning like it might come right back up.

Acting on her hate toward him, she hurled the bottle at him, missing wildly. The glass hit the mulch with a soft thud.

“You have…half…haveta…” her tongue was heavy and her voice slurred. She swayed on her feet as her head started to spin faster. And suddenly, the scene was shifting, the mulch filling her vision as she tumbled forward, the ground rushing toward her. Jutting out his arms, Seth caught her, one hand behind her knees, the other behind her back. Before she even realized she was in danger, she was safe in his arms. Wrapping an arm instinctively around his neck, she leaned into his ear, but couldn’t quite lower her voice to a whisper as she said, “Tell me.”

Locking his gaze on hers, he studied her, gaze raking over her in an expression hinting at a bond that was much deeper than they were supposed to share.

Like an expert, she detected the lust in his eyes and used it. Biting her lip, she raised an eyebrow suggestively. “I’ll do…anything.”

He narrowed his eyes, looking shocked and a little disgusted. But the second the words were out, she felt sick. She felt the liquor burning her stomach and her throat as it rose higher and higher…

Just in time, Seth dropped her to her feet and turned her to face the balance beam. She dashed over to it, grabbing on to the wood as she leaned over and puked on the other side. Seth reached up to hold her hair back and out of the way. Her head spinning, whirring with dizziness and fatigue, she puked for what felt like hours. When her stomach was finally empty, she wiped her mouth and sat up, leaning her elbows on the beam. Letting her hair fall, Seth stepped back, looking at her sympathetically.

“I have to know the truth,” she whispered. 

He was quiet for a minute. Finally, shaking his head, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a package of gum and handed her a piece. After she took it, he crossed his arms and looked at her, choosing his words carefully. “The truth is a tricky thing. It’s complicated. It hurts people. And I think you’ve been hurt enough.”

“My hero,” she spat, standing up. She turned, aiming herself toward the sidewalk and took a step. Though she was stumbling and swaying, she headed toward the park exit.

“Kendall, wait. Come on,” he called, still over by the balance beam. “Where are you going?”

She reached out, placing her hand on the swing set frame for balance. Looking over at the swings, she remembered the first time she’d met Seth. They were ten or twelve, and she’d been playing here by herself while her mom was ‘at the store’ which was code for meeting her drug dealer. He came out of nowhere and offered to push her swing. Charming and playful, he’d made her crush on him almost instantly. She’d never stood a chance.

Pressing a hand against her stomach, she felt like she was going to throw up again. Seth came up behind her, grabbing her shoulders, making her heart leap into her throat. Stifling a scream of surprise, she jumped, spinning around to face him and pulling back at the same time.

Alcohol amplified the motions, making her dizzy. She lost her balance, stumbling back, and grabbed onto the swing’s chain. Wrapping her fingers around it, she held tight, like if she let go she might lose herself completely. Her heart pounding wildly, she glared at him. “Don’t do that!

He just stared at her, a pitying gaze scorching her skin. Finally, he said, “You’re a mess.”

“And you’re so perfect, aren’t you?” Her glare deepened, filling with resentment. “With your stupid football games and your perfect little girlfriend and all those people, willing to do whatever you say. It’s almost like you’re trying too hard to seem normal. No one would ever guess that you’re exactly like me.”

“You’re drunk,” he said, stepping forward. “You need to let me take you home.”

“Home?” she repeated, laughing. “Yes, please take me home so my dad can yell at me about how irresponsible I am, so Kelly can act like she’s better than me and her mom can sit there and watch. Please, by all means, twist the knife because I’m still breathing!”

He didn’t flinch at her outburst, he just came a little closer. “Is it that bad?”

She knew she was drunk and emotional and rambling, but she couldn’t stop herself. Tears clouded her eyes as she uncontrollably over-shared. “I don’t belong,” she whispered. “Not with my mom, not with dad and his new family. And I definitely don’t fit into your world. So where does that leave me?”

He stepped back. “I guess that’s something you’re gonna have to figure out.”

She watched, waiting for him to say the magic words that she did belong with him. That he cared about her, or something. But he just turned, shoving his hands into his pockets and walked away, leaving her alone in that shadowy park haunted by the ghosts of their past. 

 

Again, you can buy the book here.

For more information on From the Damage, visit the series website

Cover Reveal!! “Collateral Damage”

Collateral Damage eCover

It’s finally here! Genna and I have been working very hard to bring readers this third installment to the popular series “From the Damage”.  Some of you may remember production was delayed last year when the first draft of this book burned in a house fire. (Ouch) But it was so worth it, because Collateral Damage is darker, funnier, sexier and more ‘damaged’ than the previous books in the series. And did I mention that, for the first time in FTD history, Collateral Damage is a full-length novel? 

So what’s this book about, exactly? 

“New revelations, new love, and new heartache…

The teens from the Discover-U Center think they’ve been through a lot, but the drama has only begun.

Kelly’s stepsister crashes into town—literally—and steals the show. Quickly weaving herself into Kelly’s home, school and even her support group. Even worse: Kendall has a surprising history with Kelly’s crush, and another key player at Clearwater High. As the rivals clash, Kelly begins to suspect that behind Kendall’s bad attitude and reckless behavior is a front, covering secret so dark it’s never been spoken.

Ryder’s never been perfect, but when he discovers secrets about his past, including something so horrible it could permanently damage his relationship with Meagan, he begins to question his true nature. After the fallout, will he continue on the path of redemption, or return to his criminal ways?

Kay has lived under the thumb of her abusive father for too long, and with help and support from a budding flame, Alex, she’s finally feeling normal for the first time in her life. But when her mother’s double-life is exposed, Kay’s world is shattered, leading to a dramatic night that will change her life forever.

Daphne risks everything, including her career and her safety to help a patient in crisis, but is she too late?

In this exciting third installment to the “From the Damage” book series, relationships heat up and problems turn darker, and the lines between right and wrong are blurred. Will these teens ever find the strength to pull themselves from the damage?”

If you’re just now learning about the series, you’re just in time! As soon as Amazon approval comes through, Opposites Attract and Coming Clean will be on sale for just .99 cents each!

Stay tuned for updates on this and the release of Collateral Damage by subscribing to the blog or following us on twitter. 

 

Valentine’s Day Ebook Giveaway!!!

 Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope everyone is stocking up on flowers, candy and all that good stuff! My niece got me some yummy chocolate and my honey bought a bottle of champagne. You know what else is great for a Valentine’s Day gift? Song of the Sea, because it’s released today! :) And, to celebrate the release, Soul of the Sea is running free for Kindle users today and tomorrow. Click here to grab your copy.

But wait, there’s more!

In celebration of the Valentine’s Day release of this exciting paranormal sequel, I thought I’d show all the readers out there how much I love them by giving away a few copies of the Curse of the Sea set. I’ve got 5 ebook copies of Soul of the Sea and Song of the Sea to give away to readers willing to post an honest review. First come first serve, so leave me a way to contact you in the comment box below or email me at jasmineldenton@gmail.com

Not sure you’re interested? Click on the book covers below to read previews of each book.

     

Meditations to Combat Stress

Stress and negative vibes got you feeling weighed down? Below are a few quick meditations that you can do anytime, anywhere, especially if you practice them first.

Black Ball Meditation

1. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to center yourself. Feel your mind slow down to allow you to concentrate. Once you have the right amount of focus, visualize a black ball of energy in front of you. Imagine the ball absorbing everything that bothers you. Pour all of your stressors into it and feel them leave your mind and body. Now, visualize the black ball slowly turn white. When every bit of black is gone and the ball of energy is completely white, let it float out of sight and end the meditation.

White Light Meditation

2. Close your eyes and take a few steady breaths to relax. Imagine a brilliant white light pour over your body from the crown of your head to the tips of your toes. The light is vibrant and pure, reenergizing. Feel the warmth of it. Allow the light to become brighter and brighter. Now, imagine this light washing away your stress. I usually picture the stress as muddy water that’s flushed out by the light. Hold the image in your mind until you feel relaxed, and then end the meditation. (Note: if you have trouble visualizing this one, try tilting your head towards a light in the room or the sun.)

Water Under the Bridge

3.  Again, close your eyes, center yourself and begin to relax. Visualize yourself in a field of flowers and tweak it to your preference. You can make this field as detailed as you like. In front of you, there is a path  and you step onto it, allowing the path to lead you down a grassy hill and to a bridge. Stand on the bridge and look down at the water below. It’s crystal clear and running smoothly. Now, pick a visualization that represents your problems. A black orb of energy works, or maybe a chain that’s weighing you down. Whatever visualization you choose, drop it into the water below. The water, the Earth, can handle these things that you cannot. Do this again and again until you feel like the problems are no longer with you. Turn and head back up the hill. Once you reach your starting point, end the meditation.

These are a few that will work in a pinch. I’ll post more in the future, so if you like, please subscribe.

Tips from the Editing Desk #2

POV switches

I’m a big fan of using multiple points of view. It just helps me get a broader view of the story, so that’s my preference. There’s some important things you should know about using multiple points of view, though.

  • Don’t switch POVs during the same scene. This will leave the reader feeling disjointed and most often, irritated, especially if it’s a dramatic scene. To avoid this, add a scene break (usually the three asterisks, centered ***)
  • I’ve heard there’s an exception to this rule if the scene is between two lovers. Like, if it’s a love scene or an important moment for both characters, usually in a romance. What do you think? Are there exceptions to these rules?
  • I’m not a huge fan of switching POVs if the story is in first person. Although, I recently worked with an author who pulled it off. Her trick? Chapter breaks, with the POV character’s name as the chapter title.

Had and Have

I see these words a lot, and usually out of context. I didn’t even notice how improperly I used them until my editor for Soul of the Sea pointed it out to me. Usually, this happens when a character needs something. They ‘have to’ have it. Most of the time, these ‘had’ and ‘haves’ can be replaced with a word like ‘need’ or ‘want’ or ‘must.’ The key here is to boil your sentence down. What do you really mean when you say a character had to do something?

Here are a few examples:

  • I have to go see him.
  • She had to have known I was stopping by her house.
  • She had long black hair.
  • He had an evil grin on his face.

Ways to fix:

  • I need to go see him.
  • She must’ve known I was stopping by her house.
  • Her hair was long and black.
  • He wore an evil grin on his face.

Dead Words

Dead words are words that occupy space in your story without adding to it.

For example:

I felt a chill crawl up my spine.

I saw a plane fly overhead.

I heard an owl hoot in the night.

The words above (felt, saw, heard) only take away from the story. Your words will have a bigger impact if you keep things action oriented. Think of it this way, your reader knows that if you describe something, the protagonist is feeling, seeing, or hearing it, too, because they’re the eyes and ears of your story. In other words, the “I saw” is a given.

To fix:

A chill crawled up my spine.

A plane flew overhead.

An owl hooted in the night.

 

Sentence Structure

This is another one of those things that’s best to focus on once you have a full draft of your novel. If each sentence in a paragraph begins the same way, your reader will get bored quickly. This is a tricky one to explain so I’m going to give you an example. This is from one of my most recent projects, and as of now, is untitled.

She didn’t know what to say to him. She knew there was nothing she could say to him. She just stood up and walked quickly away before she let the pain show. She was alone now, that was the worst part. She stood outside the den, with her back pressed against the wall and let the silent tears slip down her cheeks. Why did this happen?

To fix:

She didn’t know what to say to him, but there was nothing she could say that’d change his mind. Admitting defeat, she stood and walked quickly away before she let the pain show. The worst part—the unbearable part—was that in the midst of all this pain, she was alone. Standing outside the den, with her back pressed against the wall, she let the silent tears slip down her cheeks. Why did this happen?

The key here is to really let your creativity flow. Mix things up. Find your style. Which brings me to my next topic.

Style

 

  • The most important thing to remember is not to become bogged down in nit-picky editing details so much that it cramps your style. Some rules are meant to be broken, that’s why we write novels instead of essays. Sometimes, breaking certain rules gives your story that extra edge, that something different. I like using sentence fragments for emphasis sometimes. Everybody has his or her own little writing quirks—it’s called your voice. So, it’s your job to decide when these ‘nit-picky’ so-called problems add to your story or take away from it.

If You and Your Editor Disagree

I haven’t been editing for World Castle long, but I haven’t run into this problem. Most of the authors I work with are excited to learn and usually appreciate my input. On the author side, though, I’ve worked with editors that I’ve disagreed with. Let me tell you, there’s nothing more aggravating than arguing with someone who acts as though they know what’s best for your story. Naturally, you’ll get defensive. These characters and events are very important, very real to you and every editor understands that, most of them (at least that I’ve encountered) are writers themselves. This situation can be tricky. For example, you think a character should sacrifice himself for the greater good, but your editor thinks audiences will be angry because they love the guy and wants you to find another way to solve the problem.

How do you know who is right? The important thing to keep in mind is that your editor is only trying to improve your book so it will sell more copies. That’s their job. They’re not just tearing it apart for no reason (unless they’re really cruel.) But, sometimes, you won’t just see eye-to-eye. What you should do here is take a step back, try to open your mind and really consider each aspect of the situation. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What, exactly, is your editor’s problem with the story and is there a compromise the will please both parties?
  2. If you went with your editor’s suggestion, would it open up other possibilities for the story?
  3. Have you grown so attached to your book as-is that you don’t realize its full potential?

If, after asking these questions, you’re still torn about what to do, seek some outside advice. Contact another writer friend through Facebook or Twitter. There are writing groups and chats all over those social networks, so you could poll people and see which option has the most appeal. If you’re concerned about giving away spoilers, contact a writer friend you trust privately, preferably one with a little more experience or one who’s worked with the same editor. If, at that point, you have mixed feelings and you and your editor just disagree and can’t come to an amicable solution, contact your publisher. Do this carefully, though. Your publisher is very busy and, although they want what’s best for your career, they don’t have time for petty arguments, so use this as a last resort.

When e-mailing your publisher about an editing disagreement, keep it brief and simple. Don’t rant and rave about every little thing your editor’s done to offend you. Be polite. Say something like: “[Editor] and I are having a disagreement and we can’t solve it. She thinks this should happen, while I think it should go this way. Which option do you think will appeal to readers?” Remember to thank them for their time. Chances are if your publisher and your editor agree, then you’re not stepping back far enough to view the big picture. Sometimes you just need to bite-the-bullet and make the requested changes.

 

 

And, Happy Release Day to me! Soul of the Sea comes out today and to celebrate, the first person to comment wins a free e-book  version. Ready, set, go!