So I finally caught up today with my editor Sarah Harvey in Victoria, B.C. I told her exactly what I needed from her -- a nudge in the right direction as I psych myself up for the next revision of my Nunavik manuscript. One of the things I enjoy so much about a talk with a fiction editor is she treats your characters as if they are real people. There's a secondary character in my book namedLenny, a rather tough guy, and when Sarah said she liked him... well, I was in heaven. I made him after all, didn't I? And for goodness sake, she thinks he's real enough to like!!
So Sarah gave me just the nudge I needed. And of course, because I'm me and I have you to report to, dear blog reader, I took a few minutes to ask Sarah some questions about the connection between writing and editing. As I told you in yesterday's blog entry, Sarah is also a YA author -- and a very talented one at that. Sarah told me she learns a lot about writing from her work as an editor: "I learn what I should and shouldn't do." When I asked for an example, she was very specific. "I notice the overuse of the words 'and,' 'then' and 'just,'" she told me, adding that "'just' is my least favourite word." That got me a little worried... I'm almost sure I use the word just quite a lot when I write. But Sarah wasn't through with her comments about the "just"-word: "I challenge any writer to put the word 'just' in the find box, and count how many times it shows up." Yikes! I'm not sure I'm brave enough to do it. What about you?
No conversation with Sarah is complete without my trying to talk her into a visit to Montreal -- and without a little chat about what books we've been reading lately. I told her how much I enjoyed Judy Blundell's What I Saw and How I Lied; Sarah recommended The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Did I tell you my husband and I are heading to the Grand Canyon for March break? Guess which book I'm going to get a hold of and tuck into my knapsack? Isn't it a good feeling to know there's a delicious book in your future?