Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays from Gretchen McNeil

Book Nerd Holiday 

Funny thing. Being a book-a-year fall release author with HarperCollins means that sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I'm going to come home to a different kind of gift under my tree: a UPS package of copyedits.

It's kinda like Christmas, actually. You look at the package, a vague guess at what you'll find inside. You pick it up and shake it. It's floppy. Ah ha. PAPER! Then you get to unwrap it. Slowly, just a corner at first as you peek inside.

Suspense builds. Will they be easy copyedits? Difficult? Will there be queries I'll have to research? Pages I'll have to rewrite? Have I completely mucked up the timeline? Or will it be mostly typos and Oxford commas?

Finally, the packaging torn away, a shimmeringly white marked up manuscript sits on my table. Copyeditor's queries in MS Word bubbles, my editor's comments in green pencil (the green is soothing, so she tells me…) Soon, my red pen will mar every page of this print out, but for now it's still a mystery, as shiny and exciting as a brand new iPad or Xbox. Tomorrow I'll discover its secrets, good or bad, but today? Today I'll just sit here and stare at it…

Copyedits and Christmas, now forever intertwined in my brain.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ I did crack open the TEN copyedits just this past weekend, and blitzed through them in two days. I need to approach copyedits like that – kind of attack them all at once – in order to keep the continuity of the story fresh in my brain. I'm always terrified that once I reread the manuscript after weeks or months away from it, I'll hate it and want to rewrite the whole bloody thing.

But I didn't. The book felt surprisingly strong and it held my interest (even though I know what happens…) So once again, I'm excited about getting TEN out there in the world. And later in 2012, hopefully you'll be able to tell me if it's worth the wait!

Happy holidays, everyone. And have an awesomely amazing New Year!


Bridget Liu
5 Winners will receive one Bridget Liu Bookmark


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