I’ve finished the last of four rounds of edits for “Tall, Dark and Slayer”, my January release from Champagne Books.  I’ve taken out em dashes, fragmented sentences and lots of question marks.  I’ve read the manuscript approx. twenty times.  I have to make one more pass and send it back to my editor.  She’ll bump it up to her editor then I’ll have to go through her line edits.  Then it’s done, set in stone.

You’d think, after twenty passes, and three or four from my editor, we would have caught all the errors.  I still find them, though they’re getting smaller and smaller.  The biggest one was using “going to her play as” instead of “going to her place as”.  I’m sure someone would have emailed me on that one.

All this reading and editing emphasizes the need to polish, polish and polish your manuscript.  This is especially important when sending out a query to an editor or agent.  You’re an unknown, your query is picked out of the slush pile and they have no time to overlook basic errors.  If you’re sloppy with your one page query, what will your manuscript look like?

I’m now editing “Robert’s Rules Undone” the sequel to “What Do You Say to a Naked Elf?”  Both books will be epubished this fall.  If you ever wondered what happened to Tivat the Shapeshifter in “Elf”, he teams up with Jane’s sister, Sheila Perfect, in an adventure that takes place approx. one year after Jane and Charlie find their happily ever after.

I’ll post the covers soon.

Take care,


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The value of images when writing is sooo, sooo important.  I’ve started pre-production on the re-release of “What Do You Say to a Naked Elf?” and the sequel (you didn’t know?) “Robert’s Rules Undone”.  My cover artist, the very talented Tuesday of purpleinkdesigns, sent me a cover questionnaire and asked me to fill it out.

Do you know how hard it is to remember character details from six and seven years ago?  Fortunately, I always scrapbook my characters (we call it a Book of Wonder) and I still have the images.  In the case of “Elf” I even have written character descriptions.

Here’s what I based Charlie on, though he’s described in the book as being more like Legolas:

Charlie, the moth

And here is Jane:

Jane Drysdale

You can see I didn’t put a lot of work into it.

However, for the sequel, starring Jane’s sister, Sheila Perfect and (ta-da) Tivat the shapeshifting Elf, I spent a little more time:

Sheila Drysdale-Roberts

Sheila Undone
Tivat, the shapeshifter
More Tivat

Oh, look, more Naked Elf!

And Tivat doesn’t have tattoos, but isn’t that guy hot?  He’s more like the mysterious Marcus (Marcus, just Marcus) from “Tall, Dark and Slayer”.  Thinking about doing a short story centered on him.

I digress.  Images are important while writing your story.  In some cases, afterward.

What do you use for inspiration?

BTW, I got sidetracked by my Book of Wonders for “The Spell Breaker” a Non-comedy but romance.  Richard, the hero king, is based on “Highlander’s” Adrian Paul.  Can you blame me?

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