Editors are our Friends!

Sometimes writers, especially early in their careers, view editors as adversaries. With my first book, I was so proud of every word that when my editor suggested changes, I balked. It takes a while to realize writers and editors are on the same team.
I’m thinking about this right now because I’m excited to be working with my editor at Mira Books, Miranda Stecyk, again. I’ve been lucky to have had three fabulous editors over the years. Karen Solem, who’s now an agent. Amy Moore Benson, who’s also now an agent. And Miranda, who I hope isn’t about to become an agent! All three are sharp editors who can look at a story and immediately see how it can be tweaked to make it better. My favorite editorial tweak was a suggestion from Karen Solem. When i first turned in the manuscript for KEEPER OF THE LIGHT, the old lighthouse keeper was a man (Caleb Poor, for those of you familiar with the book). She suggested I make the keeper a woman. I was mortified. The book was finished, as far as I was concerned and I was ready to move on to my next project. As I thought about it, though, I realized she was right. It was a lot of work changing Caleb into Mary Poor, but very worth it. I don’t even know what I was thinking, making the keeper a man. It works better this way on a hundred levels. That’s what a good editor is all about–helping the writer write a better book.


  1. Margo on July 18, 2006 at 10:06 am

    I’ve read KEEPER OF THE LIGHT 3 times and it’s hard for me to picture anyone but Mary Poor as the lighthouse keeper…I’m really glad you made the change!!…hmmmmmm, I wonder if the mention of working with a new editor means a new book is on the horizon soon…(-:

  2. Anonymous on July 18, 2006 at 2:00 pm

    Margo, I’ve worked with Miranda for several years already. New book issue to be addressed soon. I promise!

  3. Margo on July 18, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    I’ll tell my book group tomorrow…they keep hounding me about it!!…Miranda sounds like a gem and I’m glad she’s with you again…(read your blog too fast this a.m. and didn’t catch that part)…have a great day and stay cool…(-:

  4. Krysia on July 19, 2006 at 7:52 pm

    I am currently writing a book (8 years in the making) and I am sure an editor would have a heart attack in the amount of times the f-word has been said in 3 chapters, which I am sure will be edited out by me, I tend to write when I am mad. Anyways I’ve never read Keeper of the Light but it must be good. I read Kiss River and am now working on Her Mother’s Shadows. I was excited to see that Clay and Gina’s story carried over, I fell in love with them. The first book I read of yours was The Courage Tree, I loved it, nearly made me cry. I will definitly have to see if I can get Keeper of the Light from the library.

  5. diane on July 19, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    hi krysia,
    pretty name! well, regarding your book, i’m glad you’re not censoring yourself in the first draft. i put loads of stuff in my first draft that i ultimately cut, but i think it’s important to just get it all down. so many writers get stymied because they think their early drafts have to be perfect.
    i’m glad you’re enjoying the continuation of clay and gina’s story. many readers wrote to me, wanting to know if they were able to adopt the baby. i really like clay and gina’s relationship.
    hope you can find KEEPER.

Leave a Comment