Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Risky Way Home

Did the title of this blog grab your attention? It was intended to because it's the new name for one of my older books which has just been edited.

Back in 1997, when I was 27 with one 2yo toddler, I completed a m/s named "Afraid To Love." My husband, Andrew, and I printed 200 copies to sell to friends, acquaintances and relatives to see how they would like it. As it happens, several people told me they liked it very much. But it was purely experimental and a bit rough around the edges. I've spent a considerable amount of time re-writing the whole thing and at last, it's just finished being properly edited.

I thought I'd share a bit of what the editor told me. The first was that I needed to change the name. In her opinion, "Afraid To Love" sounded a bit like a formula romance in the style of Harlequin, which my book definitely isn't. She said I needed to choose a new title to reflect the drama and suspense she found in my story. So after throwing around names such as "A Dangerous Love" and "A Perilous Love" I came up with what you see above, "The Risky Way Home." That's got the thumbs up from most people I've run it past so far.

As for the story itself, I was relieved to find nowhere near the sheer amount of editing changes that I needed for my "Quenarden" series. Being a contemporary novel set in my own Adelaide Hills, South Australia, I found the setting far easier. But here are a few bits of editing I thought I'd mention.

1) In several instances, she made notes that my heroine was focussing too much on the hero's good looks rather than his character (LOL). "For inspirational novels with Christian themes, his character really MUST be at the forefront!" And I never realised I was doing that. So that was an easy one to change.

2) She dispensed with one of my sub-plots regarding the heroine's sister and her husband. I was loath to see all that good writing go, but the editor wrote, "Trust me, you'll end up with a far superior manuscript. As far as I'm concerned, these guys are just getting in the way of your main story and frustrating readers because they're holding it up." So be it. As Andrew said, "It'll make our printing costs cheaper, anyhow."

3) The heroine has a brother named Dale and a b-i-l named Danny. Although I always knew exactly who I was talking about (of course), Wendy, the editor, found herself getting them mixed up in her head. Eventually she wrote, "Their names are so similar, I find myself getting confused and have no doubt other readers will too." So I had to change one of them, and as Danny is in the story far less than Dale, he became "Jeff." I thought if I had to make the change, it might as well be something as dissimilar as I could make it. Now hopefully, nobody will get them mixed up.

Our plan is to publish "The Risky Way Home" and re-publish another older one, "Picking up the Pieces" as soon down the track as we can. Meanwhile I'm working on another contemporary, "A Design of Gold" and also my newest Quenarden story. Things have always moved so slowly for my patience level, but I'm resolved to enjoy each step along the way. I had too cover guys over for supper last night, our photographer friend and graphic design friend, but I'll mention more about that next time.


  1. Do you mind if I live vicariously through you? It all sounds so interesting to me! I don't know how I would manage having someone edit my work, by I have come to realize that if I look back at my early stories, they could definitely use some rewrites and editing!
    Do you find the editing process easier with an older story or one you've just written?

    Peace and Laughter!

  2. OOooo -- That title is good.
    It makes me want to see what the path is. :-) What are the other options??

    I'm intrigued.

    ANd I'm reminded that I need to buy those books. *LOL* Will you still sign them for me?

  3. And of course, I'm reminded that I must write. Even it it's just one sentence or three.

    I must put something on paper...a book doesn't get written down on it's own, does it??

  4. I'll bet you're relieved to have that editing done! Good for you! (That's my way of saying, "Good on ya!") How exciting! Looking forward to hearing about the cover design as well.

    Enjoyed reading what your editor said. While it may be hard to make the changes she suggests, she is, after all, working for you and wants your book to sell (hopefully she feels this way!) Very interesting.

    Just yesterday, I was feeling sad that I haven't had any desire (or time or energy) to write anything. I feel dried up. After reading your post, I feel encouraged. It may seem impossible right now to write but it may not always be that way. Thanks for cheering me up.

    I like the new title as well, by the way.

    Have a great week!