Meet my good friend, Sherry Gottlieb. After being friends with Sherry for more than a decade, I finally turned to her for advice on my latest book (in frantic progress), THE BLOODIEST QUEEN.
What an idiot I was to wait.
Sherry, you see, is a Novel Doctor -- that is, an editor who is skilled at helping aspiring novelists bring their work up to publishable quality. (She was also owner of one of the world's most famous science fiction bookstores, A CHANGE OF HOBBIT.) I'd always suspected she was pretty good at what she did -- after all, her own novel, WORSE THAN DEATH, was published by St. Martin's Forge, her other novel LOVE BITE was made into a movie, and her non-fiction book, HELL NO, WE WON'T GO! about Vietnam War draft resisters was nominated for the PEN West USA Literary Award.
But Sherry and I have always been busy, off doing our own things, and somehow I never nailed her foot to the floor to make her read my work. She was always swamped with editorial work and her other businesses (she also runs a resume-writing service), and we never connected.
I'm so glad we finally did. THE BLOODIEST QUEEN will be my thirty-third published book; I've grown lazy and jaded and had thought there was little anyone could teach me. (Hah!) I went to Sherry just to see her reaction to a particular scene -- whether I was able to pull off a fast one on the reader or not -- and wound up being blown away by her editorial acumen. She understood all the nuances of the scene in question better than I did -- and pointed out exactly what wasn't working, and why. She then gave me a suggestion which was nothing short of brilliant in terms of making the whole thing work beautifully. (And then gave a dozen other suggestions which will make the book *so* much better...) Long story short, Sherry's going through the entire manuscript for me. And she's going to be my best pal during the writing of the next book, too.
I'm so impressed that I've added a link to Sherry's Novel Doctor page to my sidebar. Sherry charges the going rate for such editorial service -- and trust me, you'll be getting an honest, top-notch professional to look over your work.
If you're writing a novel and thinking of getting help, please consider Sherry.