Thursday, March 29, 2012


My editorial letter for In the Shadow of Blackbirds arrived last Friday, so between now and mid-May I'll be nearly nonexistent on the web, aside from taking some Twitter/Facebook breathers now and then.

If you're unfamiliar with editorial letters, that's the stage of publishing when the main editor for a book sends the author several pages of notes suggesting how to make the book stronger. Here's a picture of the seven-page In the Shadow of Blackbirds letter the brilliant Maggie Lehrman of Amulet Books/Abrams sent me:

Okay...admittedly, the letter may not be all that visible. I may have discreetly covered the contents with a printout of a 1918 calendar I'll be using to help map out my changes. For what it's worth, you can see one of the numerous stickies I've been using to jot down notes when ideas hit me as I'm walking around the house.

I will say that the bulk of my revisions will involve strengthening my characters' relationships and making my unsettling historical world become as palpably alive as it can possibly be. I had heard nothing but praise about Maggie's skills as an editor from other Amulet authors, and I completely agree: her work is amazing. I'm so excited about digging into her suggested revisions and coming out on the other side with a book that makes me beam with pride (at least I'm hoping that's what happens when I get to the other side!).

I'll be back with more info about the editorial letter stage once I'm done. Until then, look for me at Dear Teen Me on May 9.

I'll be in 1918 if you need me.


Emma Pass said...

Good luck with the revisions, Cat! There's plenty of comfy chairs in the revisions cave, so you should be fine. I'll be cheering you on and sending virtual cupcakes! And I look forward to reading your Dear Teen Me letter. :)

Brandy Colbert said...

Yay, Cat! Isn't it wonderful seeing how much your editor really connects with your book? You'll rock those revisions. I also can't wait for your Dear Teen Me.

Cat Winters said...

Thanks, Emma! The fact that so many of you have made it through this stage and lived to tell is encouraging. :)

Cat Winters said...

It is definitely amazing to see my editor's connection with my book. I kept hearing other authors say "my editor really GETS my story," and I feel exactly the same way.

Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, Brandy! Good luck with the next stage of A POINTE SO DELICATE!!

Ara Burklund said...

Wow! Seven pages? I guess that's pretty good for a whole novel! Godspeed, my friend! : )

Cat Winters said...

Thanks, Ara! I should clarify that the first page contained all the aspects she loves, including quotes of some of her favorite passages. The remaining six pages consisted of major points (for example, strengthening the relationship between Character A and Character B) and paragraphs that gave reasons behind her suggestions and examples of ways to incorporate the changes.

In other words, seven pages probably sounds more intimidating than it actually is. I'm definitely keeping busy with the revisions, but all the changes make so much sense that it's highly enjoyable adding them into the book.

I can't wait to share more!