Heaven’s Prey Update

Signing the publishing contract for Heaven’s Prey felt unreal. I’ve waited, worked for and dreamed of this for so long, my brain didn’t know how to handle it actually happening.

I have to say, Nicole O’Dell and the folks at Choose NOW Publishing are amazing to work with. I’m truly thankful.

I’ve been living in the world of edits and revisions for the month of July.

There’s a fine balance between excitement and anxiety, and opening the manuscript file full of editorial comments tipped it. There were 129 comments plus the highlighted phrases requiring specific work. Yes, Nicole liked the manuscript, or she wouldn’t have chosen it, but she saw lots of ways to make it stronger.

This is what I wanted: a publishing contract, and the best possible version of my manuscript.

Fear whined, “I can’t do this,” but experience said I could. I chose to listen to that second voice.

Writers need editors. It’s hard to 1) see the weak spots, 2) grasp the editorial direction, and 3) internalize that and find the best way to rewrite.

I looked at Nicole’s comments for Heaven’s Prey. Self-pity sulked, “It’s too hard,” but I believe in this story, these characters. “Hard” doesn’t matter. I’ll do what it takes to present them at their best.

So I’ve been editing.

Every once in a while I found a line that amazed me: it fit perfectly, captured the sound of a character’s voice or the cry of her heart. Most of what I found was “good but it can be better,” so that’s what I’ve been working on.

Writing, like any art, is rarely perfect. Most books have a few copy-editing errors, a few repetitions or less-than-ideal turns of phrase. If we obsessed over perfection, none of our stories would ever get out. So I’ve prayerfully done my best, as will the rest of the Choose NOW team, and we’ll release these characters to the world in November.

Best moment so far: seeing Heaven’s Prey listed on the Choose NOW Publishing website. (Those so inclined can view it here … cover art will be revealed soon, and my newsletter subscribers will see it before it even appears here on my blog.)

6 thoughts on “Heaven’s Prey Update

  1. stephseclecticinterests

    I am thrilled for you . . . and only slightly dreading the process myself. If I could do handsprings for you, I would, my friend. But I’ll just do my own internal version of a happy dance. (Trust me, no-one wants to see the other version.) I wish I lived closer so I could take you out for a celebratory supper. For now, I’ll send you a virtual piece of your favourite dessert.

    1. Janet Sketchley

      If we happy danced together, it could be quite the scene. Thanks for the virtual dessert — it’s the healthiest kind!

      And all the best with your edits. Deep breath. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Yes.

  2. Mary Waind

    That editor definitely needs you, the writer, too, Janet. So glad you listened to the second voice. Onward! Blessings.

    1. Janet Sketchley

      Thanks, Mary! I’m trying a new thought lately. Instead of stopping with “What if I can’t?” I answer “Yes, but what if I CAN?” And then there’s the verse about Jesus strengthening us. Onward indeed.


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