Friday, February 8, 2013

Yarn To Go

I made my deadline and actually sent in the edit of Yarn To Go a day early. I turned in the manuscript last July, so a lot of time had passed since I’d looked at it. It’s always interesting seeing a a manuscript when you haven’t seen at it for a long time. I read it as a reader instead of the writer - well, a reader with the power to make changes.

I don’t know if you’re supposed to say this. It’s kind of like complimenting your own cooking. But I really like this book. The main character’s name is Casey Feldstein and she can’t seem to stick with anything and has gone through a bunch of careers. She has two romantic interests and my editor thought they were both so appealing, readers would find it hard to decide who to root for. And the backdrop- the Monterey Peninsula - is one of the most beautiful places in the world. While I was working on the edit, I was there in my mind and could practically smell the sea air.

In addition to the letter my editor sent me, she left notes about little changes throughout the manuscript. I really appreciate it when she points out that something isn’t clear, so I can fix it. She also wanted me to turn change a few paragraphs that told what happened into the actual scene with dialogue.

And there was something else. I had to add a cat. I’d been planning to add him in book two, but when they were planning the cover for the first book, somebody thought a cat on the cover was a good idea. But for the cat to be on the cover, he had to be in the book. I volunteered to put a feline in the book. My family was upset when they heard I wasn’t basing the cat character on any of the four cats that share our lives. Instead I used the cat who lives down the street. He may live down the street, but he acts like he owns the whole block. I even kept his name - Julius.

It was great to be able to just hit the send button and send it to New York in a few seconds instead having to run to FedEx to ship off a stack of pages overnight. Now it’s back to working on the synopsis for the second book in the series. Yarn To Go will get passed to the copy editor and probably be sent back to me with her comments in a few weeks.

I played hooky from yoga and we went for a walk in the mountains. Every walk is different. Even more so, because we turned left on the dirt road we usually turn right on. Though it was chilly and cloudy, there were other people up there. We met up with a number of dogs who all ran up to greet us and in one case seemed ready to ditch their owner to come along with us. Two women on horseback wished us a pleasant walk. As we went off road and up a path to top of a hill, a hawk flew up from the brush and soared off into the sky. On the way down the hill, bunny rabbits ran across the path as a view of the valley opened up in front of us.

The street lights were coming on as we headed back to the paved street and darkness fell.


Linda O. Johnston said...

I agree that it's fun to read one of my own manuscripts after being away from it for awhile, Betty--and then having the ability to edit it. And welcome to Julius! I'll look forward to reading Yarn To Go.

Chrystle Fiedler said...

Congrats on the new book! It sounds great! Can't wait to meet Julius - a welcome addition I am sure!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, the good thing about modeling the cat character after a real cat is that it won't be a stereotype of a cat.

Betty Hechtman said...

Chrystle, Julius is definitely a nice addition to the book cover.

Planner said...

Congratulations on meeting your deadline. Very impressive!

I'm wondering--was your editor asking you to change Casey's love interests to make it easier to root for one? If they're both appealing, the reader will be able to clearly see Casey's dilemma of choosing one. But, if one is clearly wrong for her, the reader will yell at Casey, telling her to dump the "bad" one. As a reader, I think I would enjoy either scenario.

Can't wait to read the first book of your new series!

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, my editor wasn't asking me to change the two guys. She thought it was positive that they were both appealing, but in different ways.