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Working with the editor: a case study

Editing has been on my mind lately, as I’ve been preparing Tracy Hayes, P.I. with the Eye for publishing. As a happy coincidence, Delilah S. Dawson had a lengthytweet chain about the topic too, prompted by her annoyance with aspiring authors unwilling to make changes that editors suggest to their books. Her response, in short, was that no author escapes the changes, so you’d better get used to them from the start. Her notes are useful to read in full.

She was speaking from the point of view of a traditionally published author who has more than one set of editors making suggestions and demands, all of which strive to make the book as good as possible. She doesn’t claim it’s easy to let other people to have their say, but that it’s necessary.
Listening to one’s editor is even more crucial for self-publishing authors, as we lack the gatekeepers of traditional publishing. If you’re lucky, you find one who understands your writing, and who isn’t afraid to tell you how you can improve it. If …

Tracy Hayes is back! With a sneak preview.

As I promised last week, this week’s post is about my writing. Coming up later this month – the date isn’t set yet, but I’m hoping around US Thanksgiving – is the fourth book in my Tracy Hayes detective series, Tracy Hayes, P.I. with the Eye. For those who haven’t met her yet, Tracy is a Brooklyn waitress who, after losing her job, becomes an apprentice to a PI. All sorts of shenanigans follow. Adding to the mix is Tracy’s family, two brothers and a sister, with their problems. If you want to read the previous books in the series, you can do so here, here, and here.

In today’s post, I have the description, the cover, and the first chapter for you – though still unedited. I hope you like them. And stay tuned for the publication date so that you won’t miss Tracy Hayes, P.I. with the Eye.


Thieves and baby nappers, Tracy is here to catch them.

It’s Thanksgiving Eve, but Tracy isn’t happy. She’s back to waitressing, a thief ruins a perfectly good party – lousy beverages notwithstanding – and …

Reading recap: October

I got back on my reading track in October with five great books. Well, technically I finished the last one in November, but it was in the small hours of the morning, so I’m counting it to this month. As has been my habit this year, some of the books were outside of my reading list, some from it.
I started the month with a great young adult book called Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. It tells about Piper who ends up as a manager of the up and coming – hopefully – band called Dumb of her high school, mostly on dare, but partly because her parents have raided her college fund to pay for a hearing implant for her baby sister and she wants to get rich fast. It would’ve been a good premise as is, but the twist is that Piper is deaf, so she has no idea if the band is any good or not. Also she has zero knowledge of the music the band is interested in, or music in general. The book is kind of an emotional roller-coaster with both the band and her family offering her plenty of opportunities…

Reading recap: September

After a dismal August, September turned out to be a slightly better reading month, but only because I cheated. I finished four books, but I read only two of them properly. The other two I had to skim to finish them. I should probably have stuck with my reading list, as that didn’t fail me. Also, technically, I finished one of the books in October, but since it took me most of the month to reach the end, I’ll write it down as one for September.
First of the books I began to read was Railhead by Philip Reeve. It’s a young adult book – sort of, I guess, though I never figured out how old the main character was – with an interesting premise that hooked me from the start. A distant future where interstellar travel is done by sentient trains jumping through gates between worlds, and a petty thief who loves to travel on them. He’s lured into stealing something important and everything goes wrong, plunging the entire system into chaos. With such an interesting story, I should’ve managed to rea…

Reading recap: August

August was my worst reading month so far and I only managed to finish two books. I have no excuses other than that I was busy working. I did start two more books, but I didn’t manage to finish them in August. And even though I read eight books in July, I’m now two books behind the schedule in my reading challenge of fifty-five books. I’ll have to step up. As has been my habit throughout the year, one book was from my reading list and the other wasn’t.
First book was Ride the Storm by Karen Chance, the long-awaited next chapter in her Cassandra Palmer urban fantasy series of time-travelling Pythia and her entourage of vampires, demons and mages. One vampire and one mage in particular. As always, it was a wild romp through space and time – at times a bit too wild. The first part of the book was constant tumbling from crisis to battle and back with no breathers or plot development in between, as if the author was afraid that the reader will get bored if something earth-shattering isn’t co…

My #worldcon75 experience

Here’s the long overdue report from my day at the WorldCon 75, my first ever time attending. The event was held on August 9-13 in my home country, Finland, so it was a once in a life-time chance to experience it with a minimum trouble. I originally thought to attend the entire five days, but life intervened in the form of work, and so I could only attend on Saturday. I tried to make the most of it by planning a full day.

I arrived at the conference centre about fifteen minutes after the doors opened at nine in the morning, and the queue was already at least fifty metres long. It caused me a few palpitations until I figured it was the line for people who hadn’t purchased their day passes in advance. I had, so I just walked past, trying not to look gleeful. Half an hour later I felt bad for all those people when it was announced that the day was sold out, which left most of them outside. The queue for pre-purchased passes was three persons long, the shortest line for me the entire day. I…

Reading recap: July

July was an excellent reading month for me in numbers and mostly in content too. But I pretty much went outside my reading list.
First I finished reading Those Below by Daniel Polansky, a book which I’d started reading already in May, but had put aside for more pressing books. It’s the second and last book in his Empty Throne duology, and I’m not entirely sure why I read it, since I didn’t much like the first book. This wasn’t any better. Like with the first, the episodic chapters seemed pointless. They had little or no character development and only two of the four main characters advanced the plot in any meaningful way; the other two were mere witnesses with ends to match. The culmination of the story felt equally pointless, war and annihilation for the sake of themselves with no hope or redemption for anyone. As a commentary on war it works; as a work of fiction it's a let-down. However, the last two chapters rose a little above the rest, so it wasn’t a complete disappointment.


N…

Reading recap: June

June was a great reading month for me, mostly because I was on holiday, so I had time to read. Also, because it was cold and raining, and I had nothing else I’d rather have been doing. I ended up finishing five books and the sixth was almost done by the end of the month, so I’ll count it for this month too. Three of the books were from my reading list, three were new ones.
First up was a book outside my list and the most extraordinary book I’ve read in a while. The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins is a story of children abducted from their parents by a strange, heartless, and strict man. He wants to bring them up to make them unique and perfect in their skills, be it languages or killing, by basically torturing them. They grow up to be psychopaths with little or no connection to the real world. But then their teacher – Father – goes missing and the group has to enter the normal world to get him back. Little by little, elements of fantasy are added to the narrative until in the en…