I learned about Red Adept through kboards.com, and I was trying to decide between 3 or 4 different editors. I e-mailed Lynn some questions to get a feel for Red Adept, and she offered to call me and answer all of my questions.
Lynn’s willingness to help out a self-publishing “newbie” and provide helpful advice convinced me that I owed her company a chance. I’ve since tried out a couple of different editors based on their lower prices, and I’ve come back to Red Adept for good. The adage “You get what you pay for” is certainly true in my experience.
While it may be hard to swallow the cost of a Premier Package on a novel that may or may not ever earn the money back, I look at it as a package deal. Not only do I get the in-depth editing and advice, I also learn things. So, it’s almost like I’m getting classes in story structure, punctuation, and grammar along with the peace of mind that my story makes sense to people other than me.
You’ve purchased a couple of Premier Packages and worked with two content editors, Jessica and Alyssa. What do you enjoy most about the content editing process?
Oh, gosh! I don’t know if I can come up with just one thing. The pages and pages of notes and suggestions that I get back are amazing. I guess it all comes down to knowing that with the help of Jessica and Alyssa, my novels are closer to the actual story that I imagined. They let me know what parts of the stories aren’t working, where my characters are acting out of character, and which parts need more explanation. When I’m writing, I tend to forget that my (eventual) readers don’t know my imaginary friends like I do.
You recently worked with Laura Koons for your line edit. What do you like about Laura’s editing style?
Laura is awesome! She’s great at pointing out where I still haven’t fixed all my structural issues. I really appreciate how she provides suggestions on how to fix my issues. Instead of just saying, “This sucks. I hate your characters.” She says things like, “Your character’s motivation isn’t clear, so it appears that she’s acting irrationally. Maybe you can add some hints earlier that make her behavior more believable.”
Are your books standalones, or do they need to be read in order?
My books are standalones. Each of the current Alaskan Healing Novels has a different pair of main characters who appear as supporting characters in the other books. However, my next release (Alaskan Waves), which is in the editing process currently, is a prologue of sorts to Alaskan Recovery. In Alaskan Recovery, Cari is a young widow dealing with addiction. Alaskan Waves is the story of Cari meeting and falling in love with her husband, Damien.
What are your plans for future novels?
I have some ideas bouncing around in my head for a couple different series. One would be hockey romances. Another idea is a group of estranged sisters returning to Montana to save the ranch that’s been in the family for a hundred years when their grandfather dies.
Do you think you’ll stick to the romance genre?
Most likely. I have some ideas that aren’t romances, but when I start writing, it always ends up as a romance.
What part of self-publishing do you enjoy the most?
Making my own decisions and working with people I enjoy working with. I can write what I want to write, without worrying about finding an elusive publishing company who happens to be looking for exactly what I wrote at the time that I wrote it.
You have some great covers. Who does your cover work? Feel free to put in a link.
All but one of my covers have been created by Lori Gnahn. She’s a lot of fun to work with and magically turns my random ideas into something great for the covers. She can be reached at LGNAHN@CSBSJU.EDU.
The only cover Lori didn’t create is the cover for Away from Here. That was a premade cover by Paper and Sage Design which fit the story well. http://paperandsage.com
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I chase my three small children and two large dogs, and try to convince my husband that I’m really not a crazy cat lady… yet. (We have five rescued cats.) When I have time to get out of the house, I enjoy kayaking, hiking, and snowmobiling. When I’m brainstorming or trying to figure out how to fix my story issues, I knit socks and mittens.
Name a few of your favorite authors and tell us what you like about them.
I like authors who can suck me into their world to the extent that I’ll finish an entire book in one day, then I head to Amazon to see what other books of theirs I should read over the next few days. Nicholas Evans, Jodi Picoult, and Emilie Richards are some of my favorite authors. I want the characters to feel real, but still be able to surprise me.
What advice would you give to a new author?
Develop a thick skin. Not everyone is going to like what you write. You’ll get bad reviews, and editors won’t be saying, “This manuscript is so perfect. I don’t know what you could possibly change to make it better.”
Where can readers find you?