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The Next Stage

I heard back from my editor yesterday, regarding the manuscript I sent in at the beginning of February. Her email started: “I thoroughly enjoyed The Secret Daughter!” and she went on to say what she particularly liked about the story. So I was very pleased with that.

In the next paragraph she mentioned something she thought might be a problem that I should address, and suggested a way I could fix it — which involved a lot of changes. But while editors are always right when they spot a problem, their suggestions as to how to fix it often are not. In this case, I could see a very easy fix, and when I wrote to her and told her what I planned to do, she said, “Oh yes, that would work.”

So now I’m going through the manuscript and double checking it all. She (my editor) sent it back with “track changes” and she’s flagged a few typos, made an occasional comment and noted where she thought I should change things to solve the problem I mentioned above.  I’m also making changes on my own account. It’s been almost four weeks since I saw it last, so that break means I can read it with fresh eyes.

So that’s the next stage in the book production process. After that, if she’s happy with the revised manuscript, it will go to copyediting. The copyeditor will go over it with an eagle eye and spot any mistakes — typos, places where Australian/English spelling has slipped in, mistakes where I’ve accidentally called a character by the wrong name or given them brown eyes instead of blue or green or hazel, and maybe I’ve calculated time wrongly — for instance on one page I might have said it’s a week later but reading it closely it turns out to be only five days. Copyeditors are very nit-picky, for which I’m always enormously grateful. (Photo by Daniel Thomas on Unsplash)

I’m not going to tell you anything about the story yet, because the heroine of this story is someone you’ll meet for the first time in The Heiress’s Daughter, which comes out on May 21st. 
I also can’t show you a cover because we’re still in the process of creating one. I say “we” but it’s the wonderful Berkley Art Dept that does the creating, and I just give feedback/opinions. But as soon as I have a final cover, I’ll post it here first.

The book is in!

I just sent in the full  draft of  THE SECRET DAUGHTER, my latest book, and am wiped.

It’s always a rush to the end for me, as I try to tie in all the loose threads —and since this is the last book in the Brides of Bellaire Gardens series, there’s a need to tie in the series, too, I think.

It’s now with my editor in New York. She will read the manuscript, and give me feedback and make suggestions for revisions. I’m always very glad to receive those because by the time I finish a book, I can’t see the wood for the trees.

Once I have that, I will revise the manuscript again — hoping I can see it more clearly now, having had a break from it.

After that, if she’s happy with it, it will go to a copyeditor, who will correct any typos, and the occasional Australian/UK spelling that has slipped through, and generally make sure there are no mistakes.  Then it will come back to me, to look at those corrections and decide if I agree with them or not. (Spoiler alert — I don’t always.)

After that it will go back to my editor, who will give it a final check, and then send it to be laid out ready to print. That will then come back to me as a pdf, and I will give it one last check.  Surprisingly there is always a handful of small things that have slipped through the process, so I note them and send a report to my editor. The publisher will also appoint a proofreader.

And after all that, there is a long wait while the book is produced, printed and shipped out to bookshops.  Which is why traditionally published books take so much longer to produce than self published (indie) books.

So the draft is finished, but not the book, if that makes sense.
And in the meantime, I’m looking around me and making a list of everything I’ve neglected while the book dominated my life. It’s a long list, and not particularly thrilling. Starting with a little bit of house work, and then . . . TAX. Oh the joy!

I’ll tell you more about the characters and the story later. There’s another book coming out before this one. THE HEIRESS’S DAUGHTER comes out on May 21, 2024. To give you an idea of how long the process can take, I handed in the full draft of that story back in early March, 2023.
But I’ll talk about that story soon.

A BookBub Special

The e-book of  THE RAKE’S DAUGHTER will be on special in the USA selling for $1.99 between August 21 and August 28.

This is the story of Izzy,  a bold and outspoken young woman who, along with her legitimate sister,  is determined not to let her illegitimacy stand in the way of her happiness. The full story description is beneath the image below.
You can buy it from  amazon, Barnes&Noble,  Kobo, and other e-book retailers,  BUT the reduced price won’t operate until August 21st.

An earl is forced to play matchmaker for the daughters of a rake in a smart and witty new Regency romance from the national bestselling author of The Scoundrel’s Daughter.

Recently returned to England, Leo, the new Earl of Salcott, discovers he’s been thrust into the role of guardian to an heiress, the daughter of a notorious rake. Even worse, his wealthy ward has brought her half-sister, the beautiful but penniless Isobel, with her. Leo must find Clarissa a suitable husband, but her illegitimate half sister, Izzy, is quite another matter. Her lowly birth makes her quite unacceptable in London’s aristocratic circles.

However, the girls are devoted to each other and despite the risk of scandal if Izzy’s parentage is discovered, they refuse to be separated. To Leo’s frustration, nothing will convince them otherwise. Even worse, sparks fly every time Leo and Izzy interact.

Called away to his country estate, Leo instructs the young ladies to stay quietly at home. But when he returns, he’s infuriated to discover that Izzy and Clarissa have launched themselves into society — with tremendous success! There’s no going back. Now Leo must enter society to protect Clarissa from fortune hunters, and try not to be driven mad by the sharp-witted, rebellious, and intoxicating Izzy.