“Mommy, Where Do Books Come From?”

It is one year since I published my first novel. I cannot begin to describe in a mere 750 words the journey I have made over the last year. Self-publishing is certainly a roller-coaster ride, and not for the faint of heart.

I affectionately refer to last year as “The Year of the Apocalypse.” I learned first hand what it is to battle health issues. It was not my desire to be able to evaluate the expertise of an I.V. technician, nor did I wish to experience the constipating effects of narcotics. These were realities I had to face as I struggled through the self-publishing process. You can read about the details of my health crisis on my blog here and here.

As I lay in bed after a bout with a kidney stone, I was visited by a man. I immediately knew him and there was a connection between us. Some might say that oxycodone has this effect, but I prefer the opinion of a psychologist friend. I needed this person to make me laugh and to distract me from the two surgeries that were in my immediate future. He was as real to me as if he stood in my bedroom. Continue reading ““Mommy, Where Do Books Come From?””

A Fresh Set of Eyes

Author K. S. BrooksI’m a very literal person. Literally. I get straight to the point, with no hidden agenda or subtle hinting. So why does that change when I write?

This past Sunday, our own Evil Mastermind Stephen Hise wrote about how writing is indeed communicating, and how to prevent a failure to communicate. You may read his post here. He makes excellent points, of course (that’s why he’s the big boss and all that good stuff). But sometimes, you need a fresh set of eyes to ascertain you are in fact getting your point across.

I use two editors – one for grammar, sentence structure, and other technical issues like word repetition, word misuse, spelling, punctuation and story flaws. I use another editor to dig out what I’m trying to say when I think I’m saying it, but I’m really not. She’s my translator…my mind-reader: the person who knows how my mind works and what I’m thinking. She knows what I want to put down on the page. And she has no problem telling me when I haven’t done that. Sometimes it’s ouchy, but that’s okay because she’s my best friend.

I’m lucky to have someone I’ve known since sixth grade as a friend. Frankly, finding someone to put up with me for the past twenty years (shut up – I really am only 36 years-old…for the past 12 years, anyway) is nothing short of a miracle. She is the type of friend who can be brutally honest. I may not always care for the delivery of her critique since I prefer it wrapped in silky smooth Swiss chocolate…but I know she knows what she’s talking about. And it always makes my story, my book, and my writing better. Continue reading “A Fresh Set of Eyes”

Speaking of editing and editors….

Why we need editors

Ah, whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of that red-lined script, or take arms against a sea of denial, and by opposing it end them? To fear the edit… I hope the bard forgives me.

Fear the edits. Oh yeah, I know that one. Let’s face it, an editor is there to tell you what you did wrong – you misspelled this, didn’t use that right. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it can be tough to swallow for anyone. When I was traditionally edited I used to literally feel sick, or turn to a large glass of wine, in order to get through them. And that’s the first sign of a bad editor. Stay with me on this… because this blog isn’t about picking on editors. Continue reading “Speaking of editing and editors….”

Tools for Editing Manuscripts by LM Preston

YA Author LM Preston
YA Author LM Preston

Editing is a big issue for many writers. Not to mention that one doesn’t usually have the money to pay for a professional editor prior to submitting their novel to Lit Agents or Publishers.

But there is software available to help a writer tighten up their manuscript prior to sending it out for submission. In cases of publishing their own works, using these tools can help get a manuscript as clean as possible prior to sending it to an editor.


Editors are human. They make errors, don’t find things, and unknowingly miss obvious errors in works also. No book is without room for improvement. An author should always try to get their work in the best possible shape BEFORE it goes to the editor to ensure that their work is represented at its best.  Continue reading “Tools for Editing Manuscripts by LM Preston”

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