I am an artist and artists, for the most part, are solitary animals. When I began to write again, it was in that artist mode: the work was mine and it would be cheating if I allowed someone else to take part. How very wrong I was!
I now know that writing a book is a collaborative effort, and this is something that must be embraced, not avoided. Yes, the idea and words are yours, but others are needed to take your words from a raw stone into a polished and professional work.
Who shapes and polishes? First round for me were beta readers, who take on a what could be considered a final draft of the manuscript. Their feedback about what they read that is good or missing is used to polish that raw stone into something with a little shine. Thank you to my friends, Brenda Reddick and Lottie O’Malley, for your input, love you gals!
Next comes a professional editor, whose expert eyes and knowledge of language and structure ensure there is a sound foundation and fluidity to the manuscript. In my case, Jeff Hansen (JPHansenediting.com), my editor, was exceptional not only in his expertise, but in his manner. Thanks, working with you was and will continue to be a pleasure.
I had the extreme good fortune to access a wonderful website in the UK, which described proper police procedure for those who wished to write fiction which included their police procedure. Retired West Yorkshire Police Inspector, Kevin Robinson, has been an invaluable source of information to allow this story a ring of authenticity. I am delighted that Kevin has agreed to guest post on my blog. I can’t wait!
There is always someone you turn to, someone whose opinion you trust and yet, can argue a point without bitterness. That person is my sister, Kathryn Burke, who read raw chapters, challenged me where she thought was necessary and generally, was my muse. Kathryn is a published author herself, and as such, understands the challenges and delights of writing. She has my heart, but then again, she always has.