A manuscript’s wild ride across the pond and back again

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post about coping with a content/structural edit. It was the first manuscript I’d ever had “for real” edited, and when it came back dripping with red ink, it kind of threw me for a loop. It wasn’t that I expected it to be perfect. I just think some part of my brain thought that after 10+ years of working on it, the manuscript wouldn’t need that much revision.

Boy, was I wrong.

That first manuscript was what would become Nameless, the first in the crazy exciting space opera series I’ve been writing since 2001. Book two, Namesake, will be releasing from Steel Rigg, the grown-up imprint of Crosshair Press, on December 1. So you can guess what I’ve been doing for the last two weeks?

Beautiful editor with a murdered manuscript
Beautiful editor with a murdered manuscript

You guessed it. I’ve been working on the content edit.

And I thought Nameless was dripping with red ink? Namesake is dripping in tri-colored ink because my editor killed no less than five ink pens on it!

This particular manuscript has been through quite a journey, though. So I thought I might share a little bit about its history. I got this manuscript ready for it’s big, scary edit in April of this year, but what you have to know about my awesome editor is that she doesn’t live in the U.S. My editor is also my amazing best friend and better half, and she lives in northern England. She works as a scriptwriter and video producer for an international media team. As I write this post, she’s currently in Namibia.

Namibia in Southern Africa
Namibia in Southern Africa

Yes. Namibia. As in Africa. Very Africa.

The other thing that’s good to know about my editor? She works best with a printed copy of the manuscript. So the goal was to send her a printed copy of Namesake, but Namesake manuscript is 400+ pages. That’s practically a whole ream of paper. And have you ever tried to mail something to England?

So we came up with an amazingly uber-logistical nightmare of a plan. I was going to England to see my editor in May. I’d take the manuscript to her, so that she could work her magic before the summer conference season started when she would be living out of tents and in the backs of buses all over Europe. Then, once she was done, we’d find a way to get the manuscript back to me.

The Handoff
The Handoff

We were so fortunate and blessed to have a mutual friend hopping the pond for a vacation, so we turned her into a courier. She delivered the edited manuscript to me at the beginning of September, and I’ve been feverishly working away at it whenever I have a spare second. I’d dearly hoped to have it completed today, but that didn’t happen. So hopefully before the end of this week, it will be going out to beta readers.

Then, I can put on my Publisher Hat and start production!

I’m so excited to be able to share this story with everyone soon. We should also be getting the cover art soon, so you can expect that we’ll be doing a party about that as well. And also, you’ll be able to pre-order your Namesake copies, and if you’re in the Wichita area, you’ll be able to pick them up at an epic book release party down at Mead’s Corner on December 12!

If you want the latest news on Namesake and other Crosshair Press stuff, sign up for the Crosshair Press newsletter!

A.C. Williams

Amy Williams left a lucrative career in marketing to write novels about space cowboys, clumsy church secretaries, American samurai, and alternate dimensions. Along the way, she also discovered a passion for teaching other creative professionals how to use technology to make life easier. Through video instruction or one-on-one coaching, she teaches software, blogging, basic graphic design, and many other useful skills that help creative entrepreneurs get stuff done minus the frustration.

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