The editing/author partnership

The editing/author partnership

I enjoy editing, but what I love most is the potential each experience has to develop into a long-term relationship that can last for years. Working with an Author long-term can be an incredible ride where you both share in the process and create a give-and-take relationship.

Years ago, I stumbled across one of my dearest friends Rickey via an e-mail fan group. We connected with our love of writing; we read each other’s work and gave gentle critiques. Over time, she decided to retire from her “day job” and try her dream job writing for a living.

Our partnership started out as writing partners, slowly putting together a series of books while I worked 40+ hours and she tried to figure out the publishing world. It grew rather organically to my reading her manuscripts for fun, and eventually, our ‘mutual admiration society of two became an editor/author relationship.

Today, she writes as Mallory Kane and has published over 30 books in the last decade and a half. Most of what I do for her now are Developmental Edits. She is one of those lucky few who just don’t need that much in the way of copy-edits.

What working with her has taught me, however, is that when you work together as long as we have your relationship, the partnership that you build often resembles a marriage. There is a level of trust and communication vital for a long-term editor/author partnership to succeed.

I live by real-world examples, so here is one:

In 2005, Mallory sent me a manuscript she was working on for Harlequin Intrigue. It was giving her some trouble and needed both a developmental and copy edit. I had looked at and edited at least half a dozen books for her already, and at most, I would fix a few grammar issues and sometimes suggest she add a prologue.

This book presented a more complicated issue and one that I thought would preclude it from being published. How in the world do you tell a fellow writer that they can’t publish the book as it is? I won’t go into details as for this discussion, they are unnecessary, but as an authentic myself, I will own that we ALL have these moments, scenes where our great idea just doesn’t work. The benefit of having someone do a developmental edit when this happens is that a good editor will not only point out the issues but give solid suggestions on how to fix them.

I know that I spent hours writing up solutions for Mallory. The phone call to her was so hard, probably more difficult because we are so close. Working with a complete stranger can be less traumatic, but my rule of life is to treat even strangers with respect and compassion and understand that they are trusting you with parts of their heart and soul. Be supportive and understanding yet firm, and remind the author that you want them to succeed. You are there to help make that happen.

I have often likened my relationship with Mallory as not just a friendship but something akin to marriage (a successful one) because of the level of trust we have developed with each other and how hard we have worked over the years to communicate with each other.

I hope if you are an author or editor reading this that you someday get to experience the wonderful partnership with someone like I have with Mallory.

Oh, and after setting the book aside for about 5 months, Mallory finished the book. It became one of my favorites that she wrote for Harlequin Intrigue– A Father’s Sacrifice.

She nailed it.

— Galen

You can find many of Mallory’s books via her website or her page on Amazon.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Galen Scott on various projects over the past 20 years. During that time, Ms. Scott has line- and copy-edited numerous fiction and non-fiction manuscripts, edited personal and business correspondence and handled website creation and maintenance for me. I have found her to be consistently accurate, knowledgeable, comprehensive and professional. In addition to those skills, it has been my experience that Ms. Scott is the single best continuity editor I have worked with in the field of fiction.”

–Mallory Kane, Multi-award-winning, internationally best-selling author of more than 50 novels.

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