The second scariest situation I have survived thus far in this process has been the thought of dealing with an editor.
Don't misunderstand me.
I respect my editor. She has been absolutely supportive and enthusiastic in all of our discussions. At this point I truly hope that she will be my editor for the next books as well.
But turning over my manuscript to someone I had never met, knowing they were going to scrutinize it, and not sure if they would even like it was rather nerve-wracking. By the time my editor, Hannah Tranberg, saw the manuscript it had already been read (and wonderfully approved of) by at least eleven people. Of course these were all friends I trusted, who had asked to read the book, and whose opinion on several elements I had asked for and received favorable answers. They did a wonderful job of feeding my enthusiasm for the manuscript, as well as my ego:)
But this was different. I had never met this person. I trusted that she was a professional and would know her stuff. That wasn't really the fear I had.
I'm not exactly sure why this was such a gut-wrenching process. Perhaps it was because I had to wait a month to find out what she thought. But I think it had more to do with the fact that this was a stranger. She had no personal ties to me that would color her perception when reading this book. She actually represented the "readers" I hope to attract.
I know (or at least believe) that my friends will buy this book. Many have told me they can't wait to get a copy. I am so thankful for each one of you.
Realistically, however, if I want to continue to be an author, I need more than my friends to fall in love with my books. So as I waited the four weeks to hear Hannah's opinion, I was also waiting to hear if I was good enough. Had I really written a novel that would speak to, pull at the heart strings of, and be enjoyed by others? Her opinion of my novel would not only be a reflection of the manuscript, it would be a reflection of me...and that fear of rejection is very deeply ingrained in my psyche.
Did I mention that I respect my editor?
Her initial response was exactly what I needed. She loved the story. She enjoyed the characters and the plot twists, and the way God was incorporated into it. She also did her job well. There were three or four issues that she suggested I address. So I knew she wasn't just "rubber stamping" a manuscript to get it published because the author had made an investment with her company. It took me two weeks to go through and make the changes she suggested.
Now she gets to look over those and my hope is that she will approve. We have worked together well. I believe she has helped me to produce an end product that is even better than the original!