As a reader of christian fiction, I had no idea what was involved in the publication process. I thought surely the finished product from the author was so pristine that none would dare toy with the lilting voice of the writer.
You believe that until you join a critique group. Or send it to an editor. Or have a family member read it.
I remember a scene in the television show “Remington Steele” where Steele was asked to write his memoirs. As a real person leading a fictional life, he thought it would be a piece of cake. That is, until they sent him a stenographer. When, after staring at the ceiling for quite some time, he came up with his first line, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” the secretary looked up and said, “Wouldn’t that be, ‘it was both the best and worst of times?’”
Those are the suggestions that stop you in your tracks like Superman holding back that asteroid from hitting and destroying Earth.
I was fortunate. Although my publisher did make me lose that lovely prologue that sounded just like the opening of Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca,” my editor did her very best to retain MY voice in every suggestion she made. She simply made it a better version of me.
From the re-writes come the re-reads. After reading Carolina Dream beginning to end twice, I read it aloud the third time. Guess what I found? The opening scene, marked “April,” appeared again in JUNE. Apparently, CUT-and-paste became COPY-and-paste in that instance. Praise the Lord I found it in time!
If you are a writer, I pray you have a good editor that edits with love. I pray you read your finished product aloud even if you feel silly doing it.
If you are a reader, I pray we give you a good product. I pray we write with YOU in mind and make it the best it can be.
I also hope you pray for your favorite writers, and follow them! It makes a difference!
Regina Rudd Merrick began reading romance and thinking of book ideas as early as her teenage years when she attempted a happily-ever-after sequel to “Gone With the Wind.” That love of fiction parlayed into a career as a librarian, and she is currently the director of a small public library in Marion, KY. Married for 30+ years and active in their church, Regina and her husband have two grown daughters who share her love of music, writing, and the arts. Visit Regina on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on her website at www.reginamerrick.wordpress.com. Carolina Dream is her first published novel, and is first in the “Southern Breeze” series.
About Carolina Dream:
Sarah Crawford wants more from life than to attend the wedding of her ex-fiancée. An unexpected inheritance in South Carolina comes at the perfect time. When she meets potential business partner Jared Benton and discovers that a house is part of the inheritance, she is sure that God has been preparing her for this time through a recurring dream. But will a dream about an antebellum mansion, many rooms to be explored, and a man with dark brown eyes give her the confidence to take a leap of faith, leaving friends, family, and her job behind?