I received the final edits for my novel Light Bringer, which will be published later this month. I had a couple of editors go over the book to look for any problems; when I get the proof copy, I want it to be strictly a copy-editing job — checking for typos, the letter I that mysteriously transforms itself into the numeral one, and other such exacting details. When I sent Donna B. Russell the manuscript to edit, I enclosed a message:
Donna, I hope you enjoy this book as much as you did Daughter Am I. Thirty years of research, about six years of writing from start to finish — it’s my magnum opus, though it won’t be so magnum if no one likes the opus.
When Donna sent the manuscript back with the edits, she replied,
In your last e-mail, you said, “It’s my magnum opus, though it won’t be so magnum if no one likes the opus.” I don’t think you have to worry about that because I’m sure Light Bringer is much closer to an “opus” than an “oops.” *S* You have a good beginning, building tension with Helen driving in the snowstorm and finding a baby on her doorstep, and a superb ending. The double plot twist at the end was absolute genius — a kind of literary whiplash, but in a good sense. Your vivid descriptions helped me “see” not only the people, but the scenery and locations. You made them very real. You made me care about the main characters, and developed both the good guys and the villains very well.
One of my favorite passages in the book didn’t have to do with the main story, but with Hugh’s father (p. 218):
“His father, who had endured years of agony while dying of pancreatic cancer, had once told him pain created its own reality. He said he could no longer remember what it felt like before the pain began, nor could he imagine what it would feel like when it ceased. Nothing else ever existed, or would ever exist, except the eternal pain.”
You’ve captured exactly how many feel who live with chronic pain on a daily basis.
Below are the line edits and some suggestions. I hope they are helpful. I wish you all the best with Light Bringer. — Donna
How can you not feel like a real author when people are going around quoting you! Okay, just one person, but still . . .