Novels published by Harper Voyager go through many rounds of edits. The first are line and structural edits, which are done by a main editor at Harper Voyager – in this case, my awesome editor Rebecca. In the Obsidian Temple there were several storylines that needed tightened up, and some rearranging of chapters to make a cohesive whole. I spent a month on those edits, and then another couple weeks going back and forth with Rebecca to tighten up the changes I made. When Rebecca is satisfied – it is sent to the production department, and they put in formatting scripts. Then it is sent to a copyeditor outside of Harper Voyager, who has not seen the manuscript before. She is the detail master – tightens grammar and punctuation, finds timeline errors and corrects to Harper’s “house rules.” Every publishing house has its own rules for times where there are several options. Often what a reader thinks is a typo, is actually a choice by the publisher. An example – “blonde” or “blond” for golden hair? I tend to write “blonde” and that is incorrect for US Harper Collins. Various ways of hyphenating and how words come together (super villains or supervillains? Mid-meal or midmeal?) are often laid out in the publishing house rules. My brain tends to skip over words and I rarely notice typos in books I read unless they are really, really bad (there, their, they’re) so I am impressed with the detail orientation a great copyeditor has. One nice thing – because this is a digital age, even once the novel is published I can submit requests for corrections if I find glaring typos. My editor has already done that for a couple of Desert Rising misses.
Now I am back to book three, somewhat titled Prophet’s Legacy. You’ll notice the word count meter went up, and then stalled. That’s because beginning the book sent me a cascade of images and scenes for farther into the book. I’m writing those down in a separate file to feed in as the timeline catches up. Once my brain is totally full and all the characters are speaking (or deliberately not speaking) to each other, the book will take off and my fingers will fly trying to capture the story!
Oh, and Desert Rising is out in paperback today!