My copy editor said it took her 28 hours to go through my manuscript, and it is probably the closest reading my collection will ever get. Lucky for me my copy editor is Heidi Bell, who is excellent and professional and warm besides. I’ve never had a problem working with an editor, but people have told me that often there is trouble between creative writers and their editors. I have a little more than a week to look over Heidi’s suggested changes.
For my other two books, the editors sent me corrected paper pages in the mail, which I looked over and marked up at my desk. This time, Heidi asked if we could do it all on the computer, and that seemed fine with me. Heidi made the changes and suggestions using MS Word’s track changes, with notes in blue and red. Comments I make in response to those changes show up in hot pink. On my first look-through, Heidi appears to be right in nearly every case.
I have incorrectly used “though” for “although” and “back yard” for “backyard” repeatedly. A dozen times, Heidi moved a sentence or two up or down a paragraph, and a dozen times she said, “This doesn’t make sense to me,” and said exactly why.
Kristin Harpster Lawrence is the Editorial, Design, and Production Manager at Wayne State, said that they put a lot of resources into editing their books, and she isn't kidding. Over the next couple of weeks, Heidi will have another go at the manuscript, and then I will read it one final time, and on August 22, Heidi will send the final version to WSUP. Kristin said that would be a good time for me to take a vacation. When I return, the manuscript will be page proofs.