An Editor’s Job: So Much More Than Red Ink

Recently my editor, Phillip Martin, posted a report (here) on his process while working on Odin’s Promise. In the midst of the many emotions I’ve had during this road to publication of my debut novel, the one emotion that has never wavered is gratitude. Phil’s contribution to this ride began several years ago, long before Odin’s Promise was even written. I sought his professional advice on an entirely different cast of characters telling a very different story, even though it, too, was set in Ytre Arna. His interest, encouragement , and writing suggestions allowed me to believe that I could do something with my memories and research.

red ink corrections

This is NOT from my work or Phil’s notes. I don’t even know what language this is!

That highly professional advice combined with that of others, with additional research, and with my work to develop the craft of writing to create Mari’s and Odin’s story. I knew of his appreciation for Scandinavian culture and history, as well as his work with other middle grade historical novels I admire. I also knew of his wide-ranging expertise as an editor of both fiction and non-fiction text. I took a shot on Odin’s Promise being “entirely new” enough to submit it to Phil.

I’m so grateful that he saw in it, and in me, something worthy of  his investment of time and skill.

I don’t know about you, but I read the author notes, acknowledgements and all other “extra” content in  books. I view them as the “director’s cut” portion of the book, a backstage peek at the creation process. In every case the authors’ statements about their editors’ contributions have made me eager for the experience. Phil’s  post (linked above) reveals only a glimpse of the thorough investment he makes in his writers, which has made my first novel publishing experience ideal.

From day one his approach has been collaborative, constructive, and inevitably  resulted in Odin’s Promise becoming a stronger, better story.

Phil has already read and edited the acknowledgements I wrote for Odin’s Promise, so this isn’t the first time he’ll read my praise and thanks for his role in this book. It bears repeating here: thank you so much, Phil. Or, as they say in Norwegian,

Takk så mye!

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