kate jacobs

Q. Do You Have Deadlines?

IMG_7090A. Yes. I have one today, actually, and I’m missing it.

My editor Kate Jacobs and I keep in touch regularly about my progress with my drafts, and we mutually agree about when I have one due, based on what stage the book is in and how much revising needs to happen.

For instance, I’m currently working on the 5th draft of Vault 3, and when I began it back in July, I thought I could turn it in by today. I started realizing last weekend, however, that I was… Continue reading

Meeting Up in the City

Caragh O'Brien and Kate Jacobs,  Senior Editor, Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan.

Caragh O’Brien and Kate Jacobs, Senior Editor, Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan.

I met up with my editor Kate Jacobs for lunch last week, and it was lovely to have a chance to visit with her. We have many emails and phone calls, but our face-to-face meetings are rare treats. We chatted about families, books, readers, and bibliotherapy. We considered why Anne of Green Gables works on a deep level as a survival story. We admired the design work of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, which I had with me. It’s… Continue reading

Into the Roots

Roots. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Roots. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

I’ve had emails lately from some of my writer friends where we’ve been discussing how important it is to be guided by character when writing a novel. Character, absolutely, is what draws me into projects I’m writing and books I enjoy reading, but characters aren’t going anywhere without a good plot, too.

I’d like to throw it out there that developing character can be a trap, much like the intricacies of small scale editing can be a trap to those of us who love tinkering… Continue reading

The Eye Behind the Cover

Elizabeth Clark, Caragh O'Brien, and Kate Jacobs in Beth's office, July 8, 2014

Elizabeth Clark, Caragh O’Brien, and Kate Jacobs in Beth’s office, July 8, 2014

Covers matter, obviously. A good one catches people’s attention, intrigues them enough to take a closer look, and then lures them inside. Getting it right takes knowing the novel, of course, but it also involves a bit of mind reading. Who are the likely readers for this book? Maybe they’re drawn to covers featuring a girl in a flowing dress, or a simple, iconic image. Maybe they want something familiar, or they’re ready for a change. Certainly… Continue reading

Steady Developments for The Vault of Dreamers

Sometimes this girl has to get up and dance.

Sometimes this girl has to get up and dance.

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.… Continue reading

Draft 13 and the Crunch Schedule

Draft 13, Track Changes.

Draft 13, Track Changes. No page is untouched.

Since my first editor originally told me that the manuscript for my new novel was due to go to copyedits last October, and my second editor told me in early November not to worry about deadlines and take my time rewriting the last act of the novel, (about 130 pages), I assumed that my book had been bumped a season to 2015.  Season bumps have happened to me before, so I didn’t think much about it.

Then, in mid-January, when I… Continue reading