Firstly, some of my favorite people in the world have finalled in the ‘Romantic Times, American Title II” contest. It’s not quite the FOX version-no one has to sing-thank goodness. It’s a contest to find the best unpublished historical romance writer and offer them a book contract with Dorchester publishing. It’s kind of based on the same idea as the singing thing: 3 judges who make sarcastic, helpful, insightful, useless comments on selected parts of the manuscript and then we-that is, the public get to vote on the one we like best. Each week, the lowest scoring manuscript gets kicked out.

So I’ve got three writing buddies to cheer for: Gina Black, Maria Geraci and Debra Parmley. I’ll let you know how everyone is doing and encourage you to go and check out their entries in RT or RT online.

Last time I blogged I was twiddling my thumbs-in a writerly sense. and musing about chocolate. Now I have spent the week doing real edits for my real editor. It was quite a weird feeling. But best of all, I got to delete all the extra “and, but, still and that’s” that were cluttering up my prose. I really have a thing for long complex sentences. (you might have noticed that already…)

I’ve finished the edits now-I know I’ve reached the point where I want to twiddle with it too much. Hopefully, I’ll get over this obsession before I ruin the book.

Another editing question came up on a different ms for a different publisher. This ms, Branded, is a very sexy contemporary I originally wrote for a particular Harlequin line. Of course, it didn’t ‘quite fit their needs’ so my agent sent it off to someone else. They liked it but asked me for a major overhaul of my main female character. It took me three months but I did it, only to find that said editor had left…now the new new editor wants me to change it a little more.

I’ll do it, because, this book can still get better and the suggestions so far have been helpful. If I thought the input would destroy the story I wouldn’t. (At some point you have to decide whether it’s still going to be the story you wanted to tell). In this case, I think the suggestions might make it even better- and I’ve learned when editor’s take the time to call, it’s generally worth listening to what they have to say. This is a very tough market to get into.

Lastly, we spent the day in the Gold Country looking at possible properties for our potential ranch set up. I love it out there. Eventually, we’d like to move somewhere quieter and more open where we can keep our horses and ride them regularly. Still a dream at the moment but we’re working on it!