Steady Developments for The Vault of Dreamers
I’m not sure how reviewing copy edits goes for other writers, but I figure any chance to go through the manuscript again is another opportunity to make it better. In short, I don’t limit myself to clicking “accept” or “delete” in Track Changes when my copy editor, Suzette Andre Costello, shifts a thought into italics, cuts a redundant word, asks if “college” or “university” is what I prefer in dialogue for a character from Europe, or capitalizes Ping-Pong for me. (Who knew it was a trademark?) I knew the last hundred pages of The Vault of Dreamers still needed close line editing to tighten up language, so I focused on doing that, too, which meant clocking some long hours.
My editor and I were on such a tight deadline that she sent me the copy edits in four chunks, as she had them ready for me to review, rather than as a complete manuscript. I sent back the first two chunks last Monday so she could start checking my responses. Then I sent in the final sections on Thursday, the same day she started sending me back notes to confer on where we had differences, like if 10th grade should spelled out, and if numbers should be spelled out in dialogue, and whether the name of a certain building should be capitalized or not. My editor, Kate Jacobs, went in to the office Saturday night to collate the sections of the draft and check for consistency, which seems like evidence of crazy dedication to her work, if you ask me.
Other things also came across my desk from Roaring Brook last week: an updated marketing plan, another draft of the cover, a version of the jacket copy which we’re revising, a stretched version of the map so we could discuss how it would fall across two pages with the gutter in the middle, and a sample page of text where we’re experimenting with italics and bold type. I am enormously grateful that I’m invited to weigh in on these things, especially when other people are doing the real work of them. These are the times when I really get a sense of the whole team of people who contribute to making a book come together.
I hope that we’ll soon have a cover and a decent description of The Vault of Dreamers to share. It’s funny to think the novel comes out in less than six months, and we’re still finalizing these things. It’s going to work, though. I’m pretty excited about the book. And on the up side, readers won’t have long to wait for the novel once they hear about it.