Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Galleys Are Done—Whew!

I've been immersed once again in "Line of Scrimmage" over the last week, reliving every delicious moment. From when Ryan's boots land in Susannah's foyer in the midst of her dinner party with her future in-laws, to his demands that they spend their final ten days as Mr. and Mrs. together, to their journey to the heart of what tore them apart in the first place, I love my "little book that could."

It's been a long road from the day I wrote "The End" for the first time in 2005 to seeing my debut novel, number seven for me, about to be sent to the printer. I know some people would say I didn't suffer long enough. However, those who have been with me every step of the way will attest that there's been just enough suffering—and never more so than this last week as the copy editor in me waged war with the perfectionist, leading to a few sleepless nights and a hot ball of anxiety in my belly.

I blogged this week with my friends Stephanie and Cai, who write as Marilu Mann ( about the inner workings of a copy editor's twisted mind. One of the things I talked about is how hard it is to edit yourself, which is exactly what I spent this week doing. I found only two actual typos in LOS—one of them on page two! The other was a "softy" that should have been "softly." One little letter, so much difference in meaning. My husband, who will be known henceforth on this blog as Cliff Claven (if you're not a Cheers fan, read the Marilu Mann blog for an explanation), pointed out that in a romance novel, the last thing you want is a "softy." Insert snarky laughter here. Got to say, that was a good one!

I asked my Sourcebooks Casablanca friend Linda Wisdom, author of 70 books, how many times she reads her galleys. She said to just do it once otherwise you end up finding "mistakes" that aren't really mistakes. Good advice. Of course I couldn't take it because I'm obsessive that way. So I read them a second time, and found the softy typo and a few other inconsistencies that would've made me mad if they had made it into print. The second read through turned out to be time well spent. I promise to take Linda's always astute advice on everything else! At one o'clock this morning, I typed up and sent the final list of changes to our production editor. Other than one final PDF to proof the changes, the next time I see "Line of Scrimmage," probably sometime in late August, it will be a real live book with MY name on it.

I've got the next two and a half months to wonder what I would have found if I had read the proofs three times!


Linda Wisdom said...

LOL! There's times the second read helps. I've reread galleys and thought "why did I write it that way?" and "I want to change this", and it's nothing that needs changing. It's just in me. But see, your senses told you you needed to read them again. And always go with your gut!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Congrats on finishing your galleys, Marie! I finished mine yesterday too! I only read them completely through once, but there were a few places I read twice... just couldn't help myself.

As for 13, many hotels don't have a 13th floor! No kidding, look at the elevator buttons. Also, a cruise ship I was on recently didn't have a 13th deck. Again, the elevator went from 12 right to 14. So don't feel like you are alone in your fear of unlucky 13!

And my sincere sympathies on that many young teens at your house! Now THAT scares me!