Monday, May 11, 2015

When Butterflies Attack

Butterflies are beautiful, although as someone with a slight (read not so slight) phobia of bugs, browsing photos of butterflies creeps me out. I'm absolutely not one of those people who would go to a butterfly farm and let them land on me...shudder, and this post is not about an actual butterfly swarm.

I'm talking today about the ones that make an appearance in our stomachs. The stomach flippers.

There are lots of reasons why our stomachs flip: Fear, surprise, anticipation, nerves, shock, and my favorite, attraction.

Today, one of my favorite ladies gave me butterflies. I have somewhat of a same-sex crush--- the equivalent of bromance for women--- on this lovely lady. Not because I adore her writing and fangirl regularly over her books. And not because she's a beautiful woman and an amazing friend. Nope. Today, her words caused my stomach to flip because she's my editor. Let me explain.

My editor has had my latest novel, Choosing to Dream, Book 2 in my Sunset Dreams Series, for the last few weeks. She's sent me regular updates on her progress, but today, she sent me The Message. It was a quick text letting me know she was done, sending me the edit, and her editing letter. She warned that before I open the edited MS, I was to read the letter and let her know if I had any questions.

Uh oh. Butterflies. I sent a quick message back letting her know how ominous her message was. Her response was another warning. "And I will tell you now that I was very hard on you. Because you can take it."

My response, "Bring it on."

See, I never knew how wonderful it was to work with an editor until I started working with an editor. And I was lucky enough to find one that truly has my best interest at heart. This is the fourth project we've worked on together. I want her to push me and ask her to do exactly that. I want her to help me reach that next level. I am one of the few writers I know who loves this process.

As I waited for her email with the aforementioned editing letter to come through, the butterflies in my stomach started to wreak havoc. What if I can't take it? What if it says this book is a total redo? What if she hated it?

Honestly, at this point in my career, if she would've told me it was a total redo, than I would've postponed the release until it was ready. I have no interest in putting out a mediocre story. If I'm going to stay true to my motto of improving with each title I release, then at minimum, this book has to be better than Sweet Dreams, Book 1 in the series. I'm not willing to sacrifice quality for timelines. After all, I am the queen of my publishing schedule.

Once the editing letter came through, it was extensive. Lots of ways to improve the story itself, language used, character development. Butterflies were crashing against my ribcage looking for an escape. There is a lot to be done. However, my editor advised that I am at a point in my writing where I'm ready to dig a little deeper. She's pushing me, but confident that I now have the skill to make the changes and improvements she's suggesting.

Her vote of confidence is extremely comforting, but as I'm writing this post, the butterflies are still fluttering. It's exciting to move forward like this, but also terrifying. This is what I wanted. I asked for it. Now it's time to get to work.

That's why I adore my editor. She gives tough love. She gives honest encouragement. She gives me butterflies. What makes your stomach flip?

My current romance, Sea Breeze, releases May 27th. Join My Dream Team, for a sneak peek at the first two chapters.

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